My grandfathers – both of whom grew up during the Great Depression – never paid for services they could do themselves for free (for better or worse). That continues to be a big theme in the Misura/Dunscombe family. I didn't have a professional cut my hair until fifth grade and have almost exclusively cut my own hair since high school (not recommended for people who prefer precision, but it does the job). For that matter, I've also never had my hair, makeup, nails, etc done professionally and our wedding will be no exception. Again, these are all things I can do myself ahead of time for free.
Since you can't exactly photograph your own wedding day though, we would like to hire a photographer for that. I am aware that (1) a good photographer can cost thousands of dollars and (2) I am leaving a good paying job to go back to school for the next two years, so wherever we can cut costs elsewhere counts! I've also never been in a photoshoot before but I do know how to use a camera and have photographed a number of weddings [for free]. So when thinking about any photography needed in the time leading up to us getting married, taking photos myself was an immediate "marriage" of two motivations: 'save money' and 'low-stakes practice'.
We installed my camera on a tripod, used bluetooth to make my phone a remote shutter release, and set up a timer. We took them at Round Top in my hometown, a public park that overlooks the valley and the Susquehanna River. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at Round Top hiking trails, having picnics with my family, and training during the cross country season – five years ago, Chris and I even had a pasta dinner there on the eve of my second marathon – so it felt like the perfect familiar spot. It was uncomfortably hot, sunny, and humid, but hopefully that doesn't come across in the photos.
I put some of our favorites here. And included some outtakes below.... :)
Our friends Nick and Rachel got married yesterday! The ceremony was in a beautiful athenaeum in Providence, RI. The officiant made quite an apt comparison between a hall of learning like the athenaeum and the friendships and cultures of those around you, which are all collected in one room during a wedding.
Afterwards, we drove to Gracie's Restaurant for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, speeches, and dancing. It was a wonderful evening of catching up with friends, dancing to hits from our middle school days, and talking about old times. I didn't go to school with this crowd, but I've known everyone for about ten years now, so through exposure to stories I almost feel like I was there for a lot of it.
The highlight was likely the last song of the night, "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional. I was pretty thrilled to find that there were at least 20 people besides me who were screaming all the words and jumping up and down. Who says DC was all just "emo"?
Anyway, I think this is a wrap on wedding season for us. Glad we ended it with a bang!!
(Also, below you will find a slideshow of Nick, Chris, and our friend Ben taking throwback photos commemorating their high school band "ATL". This was at the afterparty.)
Deidre and Sam's wedding was on Sunday, out in Western Mass on a beautiful farm. On Sunday morning, I drove an hour north and met up with Chris, who was getting ready to take photos with the other groomsmen. We chatted and determined that the wedding party would be hungry after the reception and the party would likely continue in one of the farm houses on the grounds, so we ordered 20 pizzas from Domino's and stuck them in various fridges for later. I think the people at Domino's thought I was a bit crazy when I carried them all out to the car.
The wedding was beautiful. The centerpiece of the grounds is a giant old tree out on the far end of a field, which made the walk of the wedding party and eventually Deidre very summery. Sam's grandfather officiated the wedding, and got a lot of laughs when he combined their named by accident and made it a catchphrase.
Cocktail our took place in a covered area with lots of cheese, charcuterie plates, hors d'oevres, and drinks, then we headed into the barn for the reception. The highlight was definitely their first dance, to a touchingly peaceful acoustic version of Andrew Bird's "Night Sky" (5:15 in the video below). There were also a couple of lovely/joke-packed speeches by Deidre's sister and Sam's best friend.
It has been such a pleasure to be part of all of these weddings the last couple of weeks and to see how uniquely each couple has chosen to celebrate. Excited for the next one, in October, for Nick and Rachel!
Still fighting jet lag, and only worked four days last week before heading out to Connecticut for my friend Jess's rehearsal dinner and wedding. It was an unplugged wedding so I didn't take any photos of the ceremony, and I wanted to stay in the moment during the reception, so I only got photos of the rehearsal and wedding prep. But some highlights were Sammy's dad making a hilarious speech during the rehearsal dinner regarding a photo on Sammy's phone, Jess's dad making a speech that revolved around Harry Potter and his daughter's resemblance to Hermione, Jess and Sam's adorable, heartfelt, and tearful vows, and their first dance (which started traditional and then ended with a lot of jumping and a lost boutonnier). Congratulations, Jess and Sam!
Next up is Sam and Deidre, which came the next day, but I'll make a separate post. All wedding photos will be posted in the "events" section on the photography tab. I've never professionally photographed a wedding, but it's so fun to unofficially document the weddings of my friends.
Catching up at this point because the wedding really took it out of me! It was a perfect storm of jet lag, Schnapps, Austrian beer and wine, and staying up chatting with wedding guests until 5:00am. I passed out as it was getting light, briefly woke up at 10am to eat something and drink some water, and then didn’t fully get dressed until well after 2:00, basically resetting to American time. I haven’t stayed up that late or drank more than a couple glasses of wine probably since college, so I feel like I'm still recovering two days later.
That said, it was such a fun wedding! The ceremony took place under a long line of linden trees in the front lawn, looking over the valley. I tried to covertly take some photos while also staying out of the way of the actual photographers and not ruining any photos with my camera being out. They did a nice job of pairing English and German, and the ceremony was completed with the bride and groom signing their names on a marriage certificate, as well as the Maid of Honor and Best Man. After they walked back down the aisle, they took part in an Austrian tradition of cutting a heart shape out of a large sheet, each racing to cut out their half. Lukas won, but Katie was a good sport.
We had drinks on the lawn, took some photos, and then headed into the hotel for the reception, which included speeches, slideshows, messages from family and friends near and far who couldn’t make it, and a couple of hilarious newlywed games. Before dinner, the server, my cousin Tina, and even the bride checked in on me to make sure my vegetarian needs were covered. So sweet! And the resulting veggie-friendly dish was absolutely delicious.
After dinner, I spent a lot of time chatting with my parents and family I hadn’t met before. I was feeling a bit socially anxious so didn’t really join the dance floor that much, but it was still nice to do a lot of visiting. Once my parents went to bed, I hung out with my cousins, did a bit of dancing, spent some time at the bar in the lobby, and even made some new friends of Austrian descent.
Like I said, I’m catching up now because I didn’t end up doing much of anything post-wedding aside from sleeping and taking a leisurely dip in the pool. Then today, we left the hotel and headed into Vienna. We’re staying at the Hotel de France, which is pretty conveniently located close to a lot of the sites we want to visit. More on what we’ve been up to later, but here are some photos from the wedding! I’ll add them to the wedding photo tab once I’m back in the States.
Drawing of Katie and Lukas from the wedding.
The vegetarian dish, and one of the most amazing desserts I've every had. Also the crème brulée served at the restaurant, which I had multiple times during our stay.
The pool, and sunset on our last night at the hotel.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.