On February 6, 2018- a “ding” went off on our computer and we saw an inquiry that had come in from a Shelby Colonese. Shelby is a fabulous photographer herself (see her work here), and found us on a mutual FB group that some of our favorite educators, Amy & Jordan started. She had mentioned that we were one of 100+ photographers that they were looking into, so I didn’t think that they would honestly give us the time of day considering that they lived on the very opposite side of the country, but they still wanted to schedule a FaceTime consultation!
During our time together on FaceTime, we didn’t know what to expect, but the four of us quickly bonded over our love for photography, dogs (which you’ll see a lot of in this blogpost!), the boys’ passion for bourbon (you’ll see some of that too!), and so.much.more. When we said our goodbyes, Sean and I knew that they still had about 15 other photographers to interview. While we hoped they would choose us because we got along with them so well, we didn’t expect to hear back from them. However, to our surprise, we heard back from them exactly two weeks later with this: “We wanted to let you know after talking with about 15 other photographers, we have decided we connected with you two the most! Are you still available for our date?”
From flying out for their engagement session last year (read here if you want to hear more about our first interaction together), to having them come out to Portland to teach a workshop alongside us, and the multitude of phone calls, texts, and FaceTime “double dates” in between… these two have become some of our dearest friends in life. So to say that this will most likely be the largest blog post that we EVER share, is an understatement my friends. With that said, I’m going to do something a little different and have little snippets of our recap spread throughout the photos we share with you:
Shelby & Zach’s New England wedding was like none other we have ever had the privilege to capture, let along be apart of! I’m sure their guests felt the same way. The whole experience began when you received in the mail their BREATHTAKING invitation suite by Karri Lee Designs. Your jaws are all going to drop when you see it!!
In their suite they included a beautiful timeline for their guests to look forward to: 11:00am- Guests Seated, 11:10am- Ceremony, 12:00pm- Cocktail Hour, 1:00pm- Brunch, 3:30pm- Hotel Check in, 4-6:00pm- Brewery Tour, 7:00pm- Cocktail Reception, 12:00pm- Campfire & Pizza at the Hotel. Friends, believe it or not, this timeline simply does not do their day justice. Makayla of Flowery Farmgirl (aka my mother!) was their wedding planner/event coordinator and with many moving parts, truly worked hard to make their day happen efficiently and successfully!
Are you all ready to see the sweetest first look with bridesmaids?! The bride & groom along with their bridal party were pampered in the morning when getting ready at the beautiful & historical Fitch House. After three incredible first looks & bride and groom portraits, we took a shuttle to their ceremony site: Shelby’s family property- Tanglewood Farm.Zach & Shelby’s ceremony was down by the creek and was decorated beautifully with gorgeous florals by Wild Flowers of Tolland and their guests awaiting them. Something that was really special during their ceremony is the Southern wedding tradition they chose to partake in: burying the bourbon! If you’ve never heard of it, the tradition involves digging a hole & burying a full bottle of bourbon upside down at the ceremony site. This is supposed to ward off any rain on your wedding day! You then get to dig it back up and share a sip together during your ceremony. And friends- the weather could not have been MORE perfect!!!
Our other favorite part of their ceremony was how they chose to honor their families. Both of their parents were actually the officiants for their wedding, and each one came up at different points to “marry them.” Talk about a tear jerker!!! So much love in this family for these two!!!! After Zach & Shelby were pronounced husband and wife for the very first time, guests entered their jaw-dropping cocktail hour. During this time, a mimosa bar, the most beautiful charcuterie board you ever did see, a donut wall, super tasty passed apps, and espresso coffee bar was provided. Longitude Events did such an exceptional job- the food was all amazing and they were truly a great team! They even dressed up specifically for their garden brunch theme. It was darling!
After their cocktail hour, Zach & Shelby shared their first dance followed by father/daughter and mother/son dances. And after toasts and lots of mingling, it was time for brunch! Brunch was an impressive crepe bar and waffle bar. Longtitude Events truly catered to what Zach & Shelby dreamed of for this!!! Are ya’ll ready to see some of the prettiest details ever?! The next grouping of photos might also make you quite hungry… you’ve been warned! 😉
When brunch was over, guests were dismissed to go check into their hotel and enjoy the brewery tour while we were able to have fun with everyone for the formal portraits. Fun fact about Zach & Shelby: they have not one, not two… but SIX fur babies! For the Love of Paws did an exceptional job being the day of coordinator for the pups and were able to help them successfully get into perfect position for the big group shot! At the end of this post, you will get to see some great behind the scenes of them hard at work!
After an intimate dinner with just their immediate families & bridal party (which was amazing by the way!), it was time to get their dancing shoes on and head over to The Barn at Wight Farm for their cocktail reception. Ya’ll- this is where it is so important to hire an amazing DJ. Jeremy from Get Down Tonight Entertainment made sure that their guests truly “got down” to say the least. Dancing started at 7pm and he kept the party successfully going until midnight on the dot!! Sean and I even had the opportunity to jump on the dance floor for a song or two… it was so.much.fun! Zach & Shelby danced until they literally couldn’t walk, and ended the night with a sparkler exit and pizza with all of their guests at the hotel. This was a wedding that if you had the privilege of attending- it will probably go down in history as the BEST WEDDING EVER!
Now this guy was definitely the highlight of the dance party and will be a guest that we NEVER forget! He would randomly come out onto the dance floor throughout the evening and drop split!!! Followed by the best dance moves of course! If you don’t believe us… see for yourselves 😉
We had some wedding crashers join us mid-evening and Zach & Shelby just had to get a picture with them! These two are so hilarious!!! ^^^ See bottom right hand photo!
Zach & Shelby: Where do we begin *holding back tears!* Wow!!! You guys had so many incredible choices, but for some reason… you chose us and we could not be more humbled, honored, and THANKFUL. Humbled that you trusted us from the beginning, honored that you picked us to capture such an important season for you, and thankful that we have become friends for LIFE throughout the process. We love you guys so much and are praying for you every day as you get to enjoy and soak in this beautiful new season of your life: marriage. We are so excited for all of our future travels & adventures together, the many more FaceTime double dates to come, and we are also ecstatic to see you guys continue to grow in your amazing photography business, now as a husband and wife team!!! We’re so proud of you both, and truly blessed by the deep and selfless love that you have for one another. We seriously love you both so much!! Can’t wait to be reunited with you guys this December for some European adventures <3
The Creative Team:
Getting Ready Venue | The Fitch House
Ceremony & Brunch Venue | Tanglewood Farm CT
Reception Venue | The Barn at Wight Farm
Planning, & Styling | Flowery Farmgirl
Videography | JayNandez Films
Hair | Susan Fandacone
Makeup | Stacie from Transcendent Makeup
Florals | Wild Flowers of Tolland
Paper Goods & Signage | Karri Lee Designs
Vow, Officiant, & Toast Books | Wedding Story Writer
Caterer | Longitude Events
Rentals | Michaels Party Rentals
Gown | Martina Liana Bridal purchased at The Plumed Serpent
Bridesmaids & Veil | Julie Allen Bridals
Groom | Robert Graham
Bow Tie | Brackish Bow Ties
Harpist | Dorrie Nang
Brunch DJ | Steven Grindle
Cocktail Reception DJ: Jeremy from Get Down Tonight Entertainment
Dog Coordinators | For The Love of Paws
Rings | Brilliant Earth
Here are some fun behind the scenes from their day!
My Shelby girl!!! I had the pleasure of helping her with her jewelry on and it was so special
We LOVED working with Jay from JayNandez Films! They were an incredible team to work with and we enjoyed every minute. Here’s some behind the scenes of them getting ready & doing their thing!
I just love her!
Sean was so excited to welcome Zach to the married club!!!
We brought baby Owen with us because he is still so little, and it was so nice having my dad’s help all weekend since my mom was their event coordinator! But it really did take a team effort- bridesmaids and Candy (mother of the bride) were SO beyond helpful as well! Speaking of mother of the bride, we LOVE Candy!! She is such an amazing mama and went above and beyond to make Shelby & Zach’s wedding day dreams come true! She & Zach & Shelby have truly become our east coast family!!!
The bridal party having wayyyy too much fun obviously!!!
For The Love of Paws was amazing!!! They did such an amazing job managing and coordinating all the dogs for the day- Sean even got to help transport sweet Mia 😉 We seriously enjoyed working with them and cannot recommend them enough!
Zach & Shelby’s close friend Mike really stepped up during portrait time to help us manage her bouquet and veil! Haha! For those of you that know & follow Shelby & Zach’s photography business… you know without a doubt that this is a pretty precious moment. Zach is usually the one “floofing” other brides’ dresses for their picture perfect moments… but on this day, Zach got to “floof” HIS bride’s dress!Oh to the many adventures ahead- we love these guys!!! Parkin Sandwich for the win!!
Setting up for their cocktail reception! Meet mom and dad’s new best friend: Jesse! This guy was a hoot and they truly enjoyed his company!
Owen did so good and made it into the late hours of the night!!!
The photographer might have photobombed a little too much this evening bahahah
We love her!!!
I don’t think I have ever dance jumped when surprising our brides with a day of slide show… but you know I did at this wedding!!!!
Kalahan & Sean is a Portland, Oregon based Wedding, Engagement, and Lifestyle husband and wife photography team. We serve couples in Portland, Washington, Vancouver, and beyond - we love to travel!