Well friends, the day has come and gone in the blink of an eye. We remember these two love birds holding hands while strolling the halls of E.O. Smith. We knew they were the “cute couple” then, but who knew that these sweet hearts would get married one day?! Even their friends and family did not! When hearing their families speak from the heart about their whirlwind of a relationship, they said they thought it was just a high school crush. But they all knew soon enough that it was more than that. Especially when Xavier got in a fight with his sister and said “I love her more than I love you.” That was when they knew this was something special!
Sam and Xavier’s family and friends talked about their relationship during their toasts. Sam’s sister, Morgan, talked about Xavier climbing out of Sam’s window every day and running down the road to not get caught hanging out at her house. (They say thats why he was such a good runner and why he got his soccer scholarship!)
One of the groomsmen talked about Sam and Xavier’s son Darren. He told a story about how they go to a Santa festival every year, and after a few too many tequila shots, Darren was born 9 months later. He was born right around the date they had planned originally to be their wedding date! So, instead, they chose to push it off a bit and get married on July 27th of 2019!
The start of Sam and Xavier’s wedding day was at the Nathan Hale Hotel in Storrs CT. They had the largest bridal party we had ever seen in a getting ready suite! They had two rooms with the doors open and they were packed full of the bridal party and family members getting ready. We took some robe photos (we love those!) and then we were able to step out into the hallway where there was a large window for all of the getting ready photos!
Sam’s mom helped her into her dress and assisted with jewelry, including a beautiful pearl necklace she gave her daughter. Sam’s sister Morgan helped her into her shoes and helped tie their fathers bracelet into Sam’s bouquet.
When it was time to head to the church, things got a little crazy, due to the party bus getting lost. The bride, her bridesmaids, her mom, and Shelby all piled into a SUV to get to the church. Shelby and two other bridesmaids sat facing backwards in the trunk!
When we arrived at the ceremony venue, Saint Mary’s Church in Willimantic CT, we all climbed out of the car, a bit carsick, and ran up to the church steps. Zac was able to capture a few of our favorite images, of all the bridesmaids running across the road in traffic!
The church had beautiful high ceilings, tall columns, and such amazing natural light! They had a beautiful ceremony, including their family in some of the readings.
After the ceremony, the bridal party loaded up into the party bus and we were on our way to the reception! The party bus was pretty crazy… We will keep this part short and sweet, but let’s just say there was a bottle of Jack that was empty by the time we got to the venue. There were some dollar bills tucked into the grooms pants (for his awesome dancing skills.) The bride landed on the bar as we made a sharp turn, and Shelby almost landed in a few of the groomsmen’s laps. To sum it up, it was a great time!
When we arrived at Stonehurst in Hampton CT, we quickly went through bridal party and family portraits before heading inside for the grand entrance. Some of the bridal party broke out their best dance moves, others made us laugh, and one group played a quick game of wiffle ball. Sam and Xavier were ready to party, but slowed it down to dance to God Damn Your Beautiful, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.
Sam and Xavier both danced with their moms later in the night. Sam and her mom danced to Like My Mother Does, and Xavier’s dance with his mom turned into a dance with all of his sisters and grandma as well! (And yet again, not a single dry eye in the crowd.)
When the sun was going down, we snuck Sam and Xavier outside to take their husband and wife portraits by the fire pit. Sam and Xavier were the first couple to pop a bottle of champagne for photos on their wedding day (normally we do it for engagement sessions). We think this needs to be added to the must do photos for everyone’s big day!
Sam wanted photos on top of the Stonehurst Bull, so she ran across the field with the flower girls in her wedding dress. It was absolutely adorable! Zac gave her a leg up onto the bull and we were able to get a few fun pictures of her sitting on his back!
The night closed with everyone heading to The Sports Bar in Windham CT. Our scheduled time was up, but since we are good friends with Sam and Xavier, we put our gear away and went out for a drink with the newly weds! We split chicken tenders with Sam (which was the first thing she ate all day, by the way!) and were the last ones with them at the end of the night.
Sam and Xaviers wedding is one we will never forget. We had a lot of firsts.. probably some of those things will also be our lasts! (We think riding in a trunk will be!)
Sam and Xavier, we love you two so much! We are so thankful that you let us spend your big day with you, not only as your photographers, but also your friends! We wish you the best in your life and marriage. We can’t wait to see you two very soon!
Shelby & Zachary
Getting Ready Location