I met Rikki and Rian this last fall. They live in Portland, OR (my hometown) and Rikki works with my wife at Comcast. They took a chance at having a photographer from a different state capture their engagement and wedding photos because they said "they wanted to support someone they knew personally." I liked them already. Being from Portland gave us a chance to have something in common right off the bat but before I flew out to PDX to capture their engagement session, I had no idea what kind of friendship laid ahead.
Rikki and Rian are beautiful people, inside and out. I received nothing but love from them the moment I met them. After we hit it off during their engagement session, I knew it was going to be an even better wedding. Rikki is someone who is kind, who loves in abundance and has a smile that is infectious. Rian is a man of integrity, honor and loyalty. With 12 years of service in the Army, Rian is someone you want on your side. He's a great father, husband, soldier and friend. I have a lot of love and respect for him and I'm lucky to now call him a friend.
Rikki is from New York and her and her family have vacationed in a small town called Ogunquit, Maine. It's a small quaint little town. A Main Street with cute shops, trinket stores and has a bed and breakfast kind of feel. It's right on the coast and it seemed to me that it was a place where "Northeasterners" went to vacation. It worked out perfectly for me to bring my wife, Alysen and our son, Little Tommy and it was a perfect little get away for us as a family as well.
Rikki and Rian had already established how much love and kindness they could give me and my family but I had no clue what I was in for with both sides of the family... especially Rikki's. Being from Portland and Denver, I have no clue what it means to have a "New York state of mind" but I got a glimpse of it from their family. Her father, Rick, is literally one of my favorite people I've ever met. I met him on the golf course the day before the wedding and realized that their entire family was lucky to call him Dad. I had so much fun getting to know everyone on this golf course, including some of Rikki's brothers and some of Rian friends. It was so refreshing to have so many great people travel far and wide (some from Greece!) to celebrate Rikki and Rian's love.
The wedding day arrived and the weather was perfect. Which I was worried about because the whole week it said it was going to rain on their wedding day. Weather person was wrong again and it was just an absolutely beautiful day. Both Rikki and Rian had a calmness about them that reassured me that they were ready to take that next step in each other's lives. After everyone was ready, we headed out for the first look, which shocker... it was awesome. We then headed down to some cliffs right off of the Beachmere property (which is gorgeous by the way) for some epic photos. Sometimes as a photographer I have to push couples to go places in a wedding dress and tux they don't want to go, just to get "the shot." Rikki didn't need to be pushed. She just hiked up her dress, stepped over puddles, climbed over rocks and embraced the process the whole way and it showed in their photos.
The ceremony was beautiful, and so was Rikki walking down the aisle with her father in arm. Rian looked good too, I guess... ;) After they sealed it with a kiss, the receptions started. Side note- this was the first wedding that I've shot where my kid was a guest, so he makes a "few" appearances. After the whole wedding party along with Rikki and Rian were introduced, they had their first dance, which they nailed. Then Rick, Rikki's father, gave a toast. It truly was one of the most heartfelt speeches I've ever heard and there weren't too many dry eyes in the room. There was just so much love and celebration from everyone in the whole wedding, it was just beautiful. It was a testament to how amazing of people Rikki and Rian are. Both parents raised some pretty awesome people and they should all be damn proud of that. There was cake, drinks, dancing, a killer sunset and a few Northeastern accents floating around... along with some trash talk about the Patriots... I couldn't help myself.
Here's to two incredible people who brought me and my family all the way out to Maine to capture their wedding day and celebrate their love. It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I now have more people to call my friends after this wedding. CHEERS!