Most professional documentary-style wedding photographers will tell you that they love when things go wrong at weddings. Having to come up with a new plan on the fly usually results in something even better than what was originally planned. That’s exactly what happened at this amazing wedding at The Mansion at Bald Hill in Woodstock, CT. Even the remnants of Hurricane Matthew couldn’t stop Rachel and Richie from having an amazing wedding day!
Wedding Prep at The Mansion At Bald Hill
I arrived at the Mansion At Bald Hill in the pouring rain on the morning of the wedding. The bride was getting ready in Mrs. Bowen’s Suite. I was all prepared to give her a pep talk about the weather when I arrived, but she was completely calm. I guess I should have expected this given our experience at their engagement session. It was 0 degrees, and they trudged out into a snowy field for the photos!
With that worry out of the way, I spent the morning photographing the bride with her friend and family getting ready at the mansion. It was a family affair, as her sister did her beautiful hair updo. Meanwhile, the guys got ready at the couple’s home before heading to the first look spot to wait for the bride.
The original plan for the couple’s first look was for it to happen in the gardens at the Mansion At Bald Hill. With the weather forecast to be constant rain, they scrambled and found a beautiful chapel at the nearby Pomfret School instead. The Clark Chapel is stunning, like a smaller version of Westminster Abbey. The outside is draped in ivy, and there are gorgeous stained glass rose windows. It’s a location that’s really hard to beat, and to think we weren’t supposed to go there in the first place!
The mother of the bride helped her walk from the car to the chapel. She walked the rest of the way barefoot in the rain with a huge smile on her face. The groom lit up when he turned around and saw her. It was a really great first look.
We realized that if the couple stood under the slight overhand of the doorframe, they were mostly protected from the rain. We took some beautiful wedding photos there, before moving inside. The chapel was so dark inside, the light streaming in through the doorway and the stained glass window made for some great silhouette photos. Then we went upstairs to the balcony where the couple cuddled beneath the rose window. It was pitch dark up there, so I was very thankful to have a small video light with me to light them with.
After photos, we returned to the Mansion At Bald Hill for the wedding ceremony. It had been moved inside from the garden because of the rain to the ballroom. The couple said “I do” with the gorgeous tall windows behind them.
The Mansion At Bald Hill Wedding Reception
We took some family photos by the fireplace during the cocktail hour and then it was time to go back into the ballroom for the reception. The couple shared a really great first dance. It was especially cute when the groom threw a thumbs up. The bride shared an equally touching dance with her father, and then it was time to party the night away!
A few years later, I was hired to photograph another couple’s wedding at The Mansion at Bald Hill. And yet again, something went wrong! This time it was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the couple to reschedule twice and ultimately downsize their wedding. But it still ended up amazing.