I’m writing this blog post from the grave because Noah and Maxine’s jaw dropping New England gothic wedding day SLAYED me in absolutely every way possible. RIP ME.
Noah Singh and Maxine Lopez-Keough, two lovebirds from Key West hosted a 400 guest, 3 day, goth inspired, enchanted forest wedding extravaganza on labor day weekend, and somehow I found myself flying to Woodstock, Vermont from Hawaii to capture the incredible thing.
I received Maxine’s inquiry over a year ago, and I remember it as if it was yesterday. She sent me an excited novel (literally) describing what she envisioned for her & Noah’s epic wedding on his 1000 acre family estate in Woodstock, Vermont. (YES, you read that correctly. My mouth is still gaping.) She painted the whole picture for me, including monks walking around the property, a Stonehenge replica with a bonfire the evening before their wedding day, a dark enchanted forest vibe, & how completely untraditional & chill (while also being as extra as possible) they wanted it to be. She booked me almost immediately because she saw something in my work that wasn’t like all the other traditional, classically posed light and airy styled photographers she had seen. She wanted something raw and real, documentary-style photos that captured the event as naturally and authentically as it happened. She booked me over a year ago, and needless to say I was looking forward to September 1, 2018 ALL FREAKING YEAR. (And not just because it was my birthday!) While I had a glimpse of what to expect, that didn’t stop my mouth from dropping further to the ground the longer the weekend went on. Maxine and Noah’s wedding weekend did NOT disappoint.
I’ve never before been apart of a wedding so huge in scale, yet so relaxed and casual at the same time. As a wedding photographer when you get the opportunity to photograph a wedding this huge in scale, it’s normally a very traditional and classic affair, especially in New England. What made Maxine and Noah’s wedding one for the books (and one of my personal favorites I’ve ever photographed) was that it was so grand in scale, yet completely untraditional and unique. What I loved most about their wedding was that they threw tradition out the window and made their day completely reflect their style, interests, and relationship. Noah and Maxine had no wedding party, wanted absolutely NO forced posed family portraits, Maxine “technically” didn’t wear white, they had a friend read a science fiction love poem during their ceremony, and they planned every aspect of their wedding to be as extra as possible (in true Maxine fashion). They wanted their day to showcase their unique personalities while giving their nearly 400 guests an incredible weekend experience. To say they accomplished all of this and more would be an understatement.
The event started on Friday August 31st, where they hosted a welcome reception that evening. For the first evening, they went super simple and minimalistic with the decor - saving the dark enchanted vibes for the next night. Everyone sat down for a DELICIOUS buffet dinner while their friends and family took turns giving heartfelt toasts that nearly had everyone in the room crying. They ended the first night with desert in what could only be described as a LITERAL enchanted forest lit with Japanese lanterns and a bonfire surrounded by Stonehenge-like monoliths…complete with children trying to roast smores without getting singed. See what I mean below… :)
All of that was ONLY night one…. so if you thought that was good… prepare yourself for what you’re about to see next…
Maxine and Noah’s wedding day, Saturday September 1, 2018, started off at their house with a casual lunchtime picnic for their guests. They had Farmers and Foragers cater street style tacos in food trucks, as well as the Palmer Maple food truck providing Vermont maple flavored ice cream. Guests mingled and played yard games all afternoon.
As the picnic started winding down, Maxine, her mom, her bff, and sister in laws (to be) started getting ready in Noah and Maxine’s house (which is also drop dead gorgeous. Can we all just appreciate their style and taste in general because DANG.) Sage burnt in the fireplace, nothing was rushed, the entire afternoon Noah and Maxine spent slowly getting ready with their closest family and friends. Noah eventually headed down the street to his sister’s house with his guys to get ready there. Because we had so much time to get the details and getting ready shots, we were able to play around and get creative with a lot of the shots - a wedding photographer’s DREAM. My second shooter Leanna and I also nearly DIED when we pulled Maxine’s wedding dress out of the bag. Another personal favorite of mine from the getting ready part of the day is Maxine’s mom SLAYING like Morticia Addams in her black dress and hat. I keep saying this… but prepare yourself. ;)
As all their family and friends left for the main site to go attend the cocktail hour, Maxine and Noah had their first look and the first set of bride and groom portraits in the yard outside their home.
Their ceremony set up was the most extravagant, beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. There were hundreds of tall candles crowding the stage with long string twinkle lights hanging from the trees behind them. And yet the actual ceremony was so beautiful it put the decor nearly to shame. Noah’s dad spoke about their love, spirituality, and the meaning of life that left everyone speechless. One of Noah’s friends read a science fiction love poem that had every single person laughing. Then they exchanged hand written vows, and I cried so hard behind my lens. I wasn’t the only one crying by a long shot. You could feel the love and joy radiating through them both. I’ll let you see it for yourself.
The remainder of the evening passed in a wild and beautiful blur. We spent the last few minutes of sunset capturing Maxine and Noah’s giddy “just married” smiles. The reception (an actual enchanted forest DREAM) was so extravagant and so beautiful it just about stopped everyone in their tracks the second they entered the reception tent. Ivy and twinkle lights hung from the ceilings, every table was decked with black tablecloths, dark purple and green florals, fruit, more ivy, gothic inspired candles and table decor, and so much more. The reception started with a 3 course dinner meal served to every table, while the Mother of the Groom and Bride did heartfelt toasts in between courses. Every single person partied the night away, and as if all of that wasn’t enough… the evening ended with Maxine and Noah’s own personal 10 minute long firework show. Words and photos don’t even due it justice. The evening was truly one of those “you had to be there” moments, but for those that weren’t in attendance… here’s a glimpse at the magic that went down the evening of Maxine and Noah’s wedding day.
My jaw is honestly still on the ground from being able to be apart of something so special. It still doesn’t feel real. Thank you Maxine and Noah for trusting me to capture your wedding in a style that reflected who you guys are. I cannot thank you enough. Your wedding weekend was straight out of a magical, dark fairytale, and I’m so blessed to have been a part of creating something so beautiful. I wish you both nothing but all the happiness in the world. Congrats you two!
Lastly, this wedding would not have been what it was without the incredible vendor team that all came together to make literal magic happen. HUGE props go to every single person on this list below. You guys are the real MVPs.
Vendors - Photography: Lindsey Roman // Second Shooter: Leanna Alexis // Event Planning and Design: Storied Events // Rentals: Rain or Shine // Lighting: Plan B Events // Florals: Valley Flower Company // Linens: La Tavola // Food/Bar for Friday: Nomadic Chef Catering // Music for Friday: Jose Lezcano & Trio // Transportation: Premier & Vermont VIP // Restrooms: 802 Restrooms // Food/Bar for Saturday: The Catered Affair // Saturday Cocktail Hour & Ceremony Music: Blackstone Valley String Quartet // Saturday DJ: DJ Luis // Fireworks: Northstar Fireworks // Foodtrucks: Palmer Lane Maple & Farmers and Foragers // Officiant: Melinda Lopez // Desserts: Lael Cakes // Hair & Makeup: Salon Ruelle // Crown: Amaroq // Dress: Chosen by One Day - Nala Dress //