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Sam & Moe’s Vineyard Wedding


In this blog post, I share a comprehensive recount of Moe and Sam’s wedding celebration at The Barns at Hamilton Station. I guide you from the moment of their arrival, through the unique portrait sessions, the intimate ceremony, and onto the lively reception. I also highlight the quieter moments and the concluding events – the cake cutting and sparkler exit. Throughout the narrative, I’ve included photographs to visually capture each stage of the day. This post is a personal reflection on a memorable wedding celebration, offering an insider’s perspective on the entire event. To provide a more immersive experience, I’ve included over 100 photographs at the end of the post for you to explore.

Want to skip the story and jump straight into the photos? Go for it.

When I first crossed paths with Moe and Sam, Felipe and I were at The Barns at Hamilton Station capturing another couple’s wedding. Moe and Sam were visiting the venue planning for their own wedding and Terri thought we should meet. We hit it off right away, though naturally didn’t have much time to talk at that moment. They were already married but wanted to throw a celebration to enjoy with a wider range of their friends and family. The Barns was more than a venue though. It’s owned by a friend of Sam’s family, and a piece of their narrative. Luckily, they didn’t misplace the card I’d given them that day, and we connected again later and making arrangements for their wedding photography.

When the day finally came, we found Moe and Sam already prepared. They had opted out of the prep photos, so we dove right into the action.

Portraits Before the Ceremony

The list of people who would be involved in family portraits was small enough that we were able to take most of the family portraits before the ceremony — something we usually advise against, but with proper planning can work. The mood was relaxed, and the photos were coming together nicely.

When we finished up with family portraits, we moved onto some photos with just Moe & Sam. For their individual and couple portraits, we wandered around the property, starting with some shots around the the tasting room, and then moving up behind the barn. I used a phone mirror technique. The results were intriguing, and they offered a different angle on traditional wedding photography. Before long guests were starting to funnel into the ceremony space, so I let Moe & Sam go and I headed over to get myself ready for the next phase of coverage.

The Ceremony

The tasting room served as the ceremony space. A mix of natural window light and warm indoor lighting filled the room and juxtaposed the coziness of the space with the bright afternoon light.

A friend officiated the ceremony which always adds a personal touch to the exchange of vows. One of the standout shot was a black and white photo capturing Moe’s mom kissing him at the top of the aisle.

The rest of the ceremony, although similar in many respects to so many other weddings, carried with it a unique sense of completion that these two had really gone through a lot to get here. Their families were supportive, and genuinely excited to be part of this commitment they were making to each other.

Portraits after the Ceremony

After the ceremony, we moved to the field overlooking the pond and took some extended family portraits, capturing everyone in a relaxed post-ceremony mood. Although family portraits often call for a strobe to help formalize the lighting, we had a perfect late afternoon light from a gentle haze in the sky and an oncoming sunset.

As the sun set, we jumped on the opportunity for some honeslty breathtaking sunset portraits with Moe and Sam. We took these photos in the field just across the street. The setting sun provided a postcard worthy backdrop and some light punched in from a speedlight Felipe ad-hoc’d together on a stand really brought them to life. These were some of my favorites from the session. We also got some great shots around the farmhouse and among the vineyards grapevines that had not yet filled out for the season.

The Reception

The cocktail hour unfolded on the upstairs deck and the patio out back. DJ Ivan Cortez was the man behind the music, setting the energy for the evening that had everyone in high spirits and moving, a lot.

Dinner was great, catered by Market 93 and Smokin Willy BBQ. The basement dining room of the venue was transformed into a cozy dining area. The menu was a standard, but genuinely good wedding fare, featuring salads, beef and vegetable dishes, and a vegan pasta option for those with dietary restrictions.

Moe and Sam made their entrance via the stairs, descending like celebrities. We caught a few particularly cool shots in black and white photos that emphasized the movement. They each took a moment to address their guests, expressing their gratitude for the love and support. There was a lively atmosphere in the room when a mutual friend delivered a heartfelt toast and marking the end of the dinner segment. No humorously barbed jabs in this one.

The Dancing

The dance floor was where the party truly came alive. After Moe & Sam were reintroduced to the party upstairs, and after each shared a dance each other and then their with their mothers, DJ Ivan Cortez kept the floor packed with a mix of tunes that had everyone moving. I frequently used a dragging light technique to capture the energy in the room. The photos kind of look how the reception felt.

For those who preferred a quieter setting, a fire pit was lit behind the barn. It served as a sanctuary for guests wanting to step away from the dance floor and engage in more intimate conversations.

The Cake and Exit

The cake was a two-tiered masterpiece crafted by Dunn From Scratch. The top was minimalist white, contrasting beautifully with the bottom layer’s intricate red floral pattern. The cake cutting ceremony was one of the final acts of the night, understated as a reception event, but definitely in keeping with Moe & Sam’s vibe.

The night concluded with a sparkler exit, a fitting end to a day that had been filled with a big spread of happenings in a short time. Coordinated by some of our favorite wedding planners, Vows & Vines, the sparkler exit was the final act in a day that had been nothing short of remarkable.

As the day reached its end, a sense of contentment replaced the traces of fatigue that always start to set in toward the end of a wedding reception. The opportunity to capture these moments and collaborate with such fantastic people, and great vendors, at an awesome wedding venue, is a rewarding experience. As Felipe and I slung camera bags over achy shoulders and lurched back to the car, we both agreed we deserved a Slurpee.

Please enjoy exploring the images!