In a Class by themselves - Chris and Alison's wedding at Upstairs on the Square
Chris and Alison were married on June 15, 2013 at the Swedenborg Chapel followed by a reception at Upstairs on the Square, both in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. I have known the groom, Chris Paone, a long time, but not as long as my husband. They have been best friends FOREVER. According my hubby, they have gotten into many shenanigans over the years. They go away on what I like to call a bromance weekend, every year in Hilton Head to golf, eat and drink. They love to laugh...HARD. True buds through and through. Every so often when we would hang out with Chris I would ask my husband,, "What the hell is up with Chris? He is the greatest guy ever. How come no one has snatched him up? He's a catch and a half." My husband would shrug and say the same thing every time. "I have no idea. The ladies love him but he's looking for something super special. He will be the greatest dad and husband ever and I know he wants that so badly. He just hasn't found that....well, a person that gets him." I would just shake my head and say something like "that's a total bummer".
Then one day, the phone rings. My husband answers it. Rob (that's my husband's name): Hello? What's up Paone? How the hell are you? pause Rob: What are we doing June 16th? What? Wait, I'll ask her Rob to me: They want to know if you are booked on June 16th. Wait, what? Rob to Chris: Dude, wait a minute. Are you fucking serious? Me yelling in the background: I want a full report and yes I'm free and you have to hire me cause I wanna be there for this! Who is she? I have to meet her. Rob to me: Shhhhh! I can't hear a thing! Me: laughing, just invite them over would ya?
About three weeks later, Chris and this beautiful woman named Alison walked through our front door. Rob cooked an insane dinner for us and we talked about their wedding day. Chris said he used to think he was going to have a huge shindig because he knew so many people, but when it came right down to it, he really just wanted to marry Alison and didn't give a crap about the whole big show thing that comes with a wedding. They wanted it small, intimate and filled with family and only a few friends.
Alison told us how they met randomly in Harvard Square six years ago. She walked by Chris and his friend at an outdoor bar, and Chris asked if she would sit and have a drink with them. Alison was on a break from work at that moment, but she said if they were there when she was done, she would join them. When she was finished that day, they were still there, so she sat down for a night with lots of beers and great conversation. Both Chris and Alison admit now they knew right away that they had found "the one" that day, but it took 6 years and a country between them to admit it. Alison moved to Arizona in 2010 and didn't come back to Boston until fall of last year. When Alison moved back, they wasted no more time being apart. Within the year, they had met each others families, got engaged, got pregnant, had a wedding and will have a baby in November. To them, nothing has ever felt so natural and easy.
The couple opted for a first look which we did right next to the Charles hotel, where Alison got ready. When Chris looked at Alison he burst into both tears and laughter telling her how amazing she looked and how much he loved her. It was so great to see. After we did a few formals, Chris asked if I wouldn't mind taking some photos of them where they first met. I was like, "Where you first met?" It turns out they actually met at the outdoor bar at Legal Seafood in front of the Charles hotel. So I said, "Hell yeah we can". Like was I was gonna say no. Sheesh.
From there we headed to the church for the ceremony and then jumped onto a trolley traveling across Harvard Square for the reception at Upstairs on the Square. They handled all the catering and the food was amazing! My favorite part of the evening was at the very end. Since Chris and Alison opted for a small reception with just dinner, there was no dancing or music. So at the end of the night they had their first dance in front of all their guests in silence. It was so sweet.
It was so great to be able to not only photograph the wedding of my husband's best friend in the world, but to be included and bare witness to it all. Chris knows a lot of people and the fact that he and Alison chose me to be a part of the whole day really meant so much to me.