Anica & Steve’s Herb Lyceum Wedding at Gilson’s Farm

An Elegant Rustic Wedding

When I arrived at The Herb Lyceum in Groton, Massachusetts, I instantly felt a sense of calm. The venue is small, rustic, and quaint. While the weather was quite gray, the natural green setting really brightened up the day. For intimate events like Anica and Steve’s rustic wedding, dinner is served in a 19th century carriage house. With only 25 guests, it felt like I was attending a small dinner party at someone’s classic New England house.

To go along with their small guest list, Anica and Steve kept their wedding details simple. While the venue didn’t need added decor, it is nice to see bits of Anica and Steve’s personality in their wedding details. Soft pastels in Anica’s bouquet, a pink wedding cake (with a cute Dia De Los Muertos topper), and teal vintage luggage are really elegant details. The bride herself is stunning in a champagne lace wedding dress, bird fascinator, and good ol’ cowboy boots. Yes, she’s from Texas!

I think if you ask the guests what stands out about this wedding they would probably answer – the food. Passed hors d’oeuvres look like a work of art and the dinner menu reads like poetry. The Herb Lyceum is a scratch kitchen and is open to the public for dinner not just weddings. Anica and Steve kindly asked me to join their guests for dinner so I can attest how amazing the food is. For a small rustic wedding with excellent food, The Herb Lyceum should definitely be on your list of places to check out. It is a special place.

Here are a few photographs from Anica and Steve’s wedding. I am truly honored to have been included on their special day and it was wonderful getting to know their guests. Congratulations Anica and Steve!

Collection of photos at the Herb Lyceum Wedding including the grounds, wedding cake and bride's pastel bouquet set on top of teal vintage luggageBride and groom smile nervously at each other before their Herb Lyceum WeddingBride and groom walk to their ceremony during their Herb Lyceum WeddingPortraits of the bride and groom as well as the first kiss at a Herb Lyceum WeddingBride and groom hold each others arms near a tall tree after their Herb Lyceum WeddingWedding guests enjoying a rustic wedding at the Herb Lyceum
Bride and groom kissing in the window of the carriage house at Herb LyceumCouple cutting their cake at their Herb Lyceum Wedding

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Tiffany & Bobby’s Rainy Marblehead Engagement Session

I moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts in 2011 and surprisingly this was the first time I’ve had an engagement session in my own town. Unfortunately, it was probably the most challenging weather conditions I’ve ever experienced as a photographer but it was TOTALLY worth it. First off, my clients Tiffany and Bobby are troopers. Tiffany and I discussed their engagement sessions for a few weeks prior and decided to shoot rain or shine. Well, Mother Nature decided to test us because not only was it raining but it was a cold 40 degrees. Regardless, I put on my rain gear while Tiffany and Bobby did an amazing job smiling even though I knew they were wet and freezing.

First stop is a popular site-seeing destination in Marblehead, Crocker Park. Crocker Park has a great view of Marblehead Harbor as well as a covered Gazebo. Since it was raining I thought, “at least we’ll have a little roof over our heads.” Well, the wind was blowing sideways that it didn’t matter. The conditions really didn’t make sense for us to even attempt any pictures. So we headed to another location (my Plan B) at Gashouse Beach. I thought maybe if we were at sea-level, the surrounding seawalls and natural rocks might protect us from the whipping wind. When we arrived I knew immediately that I was wrong again. Strike two.

Third time’s a charm

Things weren’t looking good and my mind was racing trying to think of possible places to shoot when Bobby suggested another famous Marblehead landmark, Redd’s Podd. YES, of course! Luckily, Redd’s pond is just around the corner. When we arrived it instantly felt warmer since Redd’s pond is inland just a little bit. It turned out to be the perfect spot to finally begin our engagement session. It was fun incorporating the needed umbrellas and hiding under some bushes during our time at Redd’s pond.  Although it was such a gray day there was a bit of color with some yellow bushes and the famous red house.

Collection of an engaged couple walking in the rain with clear umbrellas near Redd's Pond in Marblehead

After we finished at Redd’s pond, we made our way to one of my favorite spots in Marblehead, Castle Rock. The views at Castle Rock are spectacular even on a rainy day. The natural rock formations really add to the drama of the crashing waves. Once again, Tiffany and Bobby braved the weather as well as climbing down on some really jagged rocks. The only word I can think of about shooting at Castle Rock is “Amazing!”

Engagement pictures at Castle Rock in Marblehead

Finally, we ended our day at Chandler Hovey Park for the last few pictures. In the end, we were very wet and cold but the pictures we captured made it all worth it! I had an amazing experience shooting in my hometown for the first time and I look forward to Tiffany and Bobby’s wedding.  We will be at the Red Jacket Inn on Cape Cod this coming September, rain or shine.

Engaged couple looks out to sea with Marblehead lighthouse in background

Arlene D Marston Photography is based in Marblehead, MA and services the Boston, North Shore, and New England area.
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Jess & Andy’s Old Sturbridge Village Wedding

On this cold wintry New England day in APRIL, I can’t help but think of warmer days.  So to warm things up I thought I’d share pictures from a beautiful warm wedding day back in September.  I shot Jess and Andy’s engagement pictures at the Salem Willow’s and I’m so happy to finally share pictures from their wedding day. Jess and Andy celebrated their special day at the Old Sturbridge Village which is a quintessential venue to have a New England wedding.  The historic buildings and beautiful landscape really makes you feel like you’re stepping back into time.

I started my day photographing Jess getting ready in the Oliver Wight House. The first room where Jess and her bridesmaids were getting ready was a little dark. So I was very excited her bridesmaid Victoria volunteered her room so Jess can put on her dress where the light was nice and bright.

Bridge Ready for Wedding At Old Sturbridge Village

When it was time to get ready, I scooped up the Groom myself and we drove over to the Herb Gardens for the first look.  A “first look” is a nice moment before all the craziness truly begins. I really love shooting first looks because it allows couples to take a moment to breathe. I believe it totally relieves some tension or nerves that are pent up with all the preparation. You can tell Jess and Andy were glad to see each other and have a special moment by themselves (plus me and a videographer, but we don’t count.)

First Look before wedding at Old Sturbridge Village

Making it meaningful

For the ceremony Jess and Andy had their good friend Ray officiate. You can tell that it was very meaningful for Ray to share personal stories and explain how their friendships and relationships have grown . The ceremony was held in the Salem Town gardens of Old Sturbridge Village. Immediately following the ceremony a member of the Old Sturbridge Village staff fired off a traditional gun which made a fun picture to capture.

Wedding Ceremony at Old Sturbridge Village

Musket First after wedding ceremony held at Old Sturbridge Village

Following the ceremony the guests headed to cocktail hour and I took a few more portraits of Jess and Andy in other areas of the New England landmark. After we finished our portraits we head back to the reception. Complete with elegant, rustic, and fun details such as cat faces for their photo booth, Jess and Andy really incorporated their personalities into their wedding details.

Wedding Reception and details at Old Sturbridge VillageCollage ofDancing during wedding reception at Old Sturbridge

Every wedding I capture is meaningful to me. Being part of any wedding whether you’re a guest or working as a vendor is special knowing that someone invited you to participate in such an important event in their life. I love getting to know my clients and so it was really wonderful getting to know my own hair stylist Jess and her new husband Andy (aka Bix). Congrats guys!

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Tuck’s Point in Manchester-by-the-Sea | Jenny & Jordan’s Engagement Session

Nothing like a beautiful North Shore Wedding location – Tuck’s Point, Manchester-by-the-sea

It’s not often that I have the opportunity to shoot an engagement shoot in the same location where I will also shoot a wedding. However, if your wedding is planned in a beautiful location like Tuck’s Point then why not.  Tuck’s Point is a quaint seaside park in Manchester by the Sea where Jenny and Jordan will have their ceremony next August.  When I arrived I swear I just stepped into a movie scene it was so beautiful.  I know I’m biased but I believe North Shore just has the most beautiful seaside spots in New England. I am really looking forward to coming back this summer to shoot here again.  In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures from my session with Jenny and Jordan.

Engaged Couple kisses at Tuck's Point Manchester-by-the-Sea by North Shore Wedding photographer Arlene D Marston

Couple walking at Tuck's Point WeddingEngagement Session at Tuck's Point Manchester-By-The-Sea


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Kimmy & Chris’ Multicultural Vietnamese and Filipino Wedding

The first time I had a conversation with Chris, he was stationed in Afghanistan. Yes you read that correctly; I initially spoke to the groom, while he was stationed on a military base, with a 14 hour time difference. Thank goodness for Skype! When we spoke, he explained that he is Filipino and his fiancée is Vietnamese and for their wedding they would celebrating both cultures through various traditions. Their wedding day began with a Traditional tea ceremony and while I was not hired to capture that part of the day I was able to catch Kimmy and Chris to take pictures before they changed their wardrobe for the church ceremony. The church ceremony was held at Our Lady of Vilna, where they spoke in both Vietnamese and English and incorporated both cultures throughout the wedding.

Traditional Vietnamese Wedding AttireVietnamese BrideFilipino Groom Getting ReadyVietnamese Filipino Catholic WeddingChurch Wedding CeremonyVietnamese Bride Filipino Groom First KissWedding Portraits shot at Acacia at Indian MeadowAfter the ceremony, the reception was held at Acacia at Indian Meadows Country Club in Westbourough.   During the reception the MC also spoke in both Vietnamese and English and began the reception with a Vietnamese tradition where she introduced all “elders” on both the bride’s and the groom’s family.  As a Filipino tradition, Kimmy and Chris did a “money dance” where guests pay to dance with the bride or groom.  Each guest actually pins the cash onto the newlyweds which makes for fun wedding accessories.  The tradition represents goods fortune and is a sweet gesture from the guests to help them out as they get started in their new lives together.  Later in the evening Kimmy, Chris, and members of the wedding party, went from table-to-table where a representative from each table would give a toast to the bride and groom. This was a great way to ensure the couple greets all their guests and is typical during a Vietnamese wedding. Lastly, Kimmy and Chris threw in a few American traditions with a bouquet toss, photobooth, and some sparklers. So needless to say this wedding was a ton of fun, packed with traditions that made for really fun photographs.
Vietnamese Masters of CeremonyVietnamese Wedding TraditionAmerican Wedding Tradition at Vietnamese Filipino WeddingI had a lot of fun capturing Kimmy and Chris’ wedding but I also need to make a shout-out to Cassie from Cassandra Lauren Photography for being my second photographer while the guys were getting ready and during the ceremony.

Congratulations Kimmy and Chris on your big day and thank you Chris for your continued military service.

Arlene D Marston is a wedding photographer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts and services the Boston, North Shore, New England Area.


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