I had the privilege of witnessing and photographing Jared and Marissa's engagement in New York City in July of last year! And when I traveled out to Connecticut over the holidays, they let us in on a little surprise...they were planning to do a blessing ceremony while we were there! Marissa's Grandparents may not be able to make the trip to their wedding in New York in June, therefore, Marissa and Jared wanted to bring the experience to them. The plan was to go to her Grandmother's nursing home, and have a blessing ceremony where they would read letters they had written to her Grandparents, read some scripture, and have some worship. As the planning began, we couldn’t help but step it up a few notches! Marissa’s cousin, Jenn, volunteered to do the hair and make-up, I was going to photograph and do flowers, we ordered a mini surprise cake, we all scouted out locations to take photographs at beforehand, we went shopping for dresses for the girls and bowties for the men, and we had a blast through it all! The days went by with a flurry of activity until the day finally arrived! Marissa and Jared did a first look at a gazebo outside the house, and it was adorable! Marissa had bought a vintage dress for the occasion, and Jared used one of his favorite suits. We then took photos around the lake with posed ones as well as several of Jared chasing Marissa around the grassy area! Going from there we caravanned to Avery Point Lighthouse, and photographed along the coast. It was freezing, but well worth the photos!
After taking all of these photos, we all went to Avalon Health Center to let the blessing ceremony begin! Grandmother Gorman was all smiles as she saw Marissa walking down the aisle with Marissa’s mother, Jeanne Maren, and brother, Daniel Maren, on each arm. The ceremony began with Daniel explaining how much the Grandparents meant to them all, and how they wanted them to be a part of it all which was why we were doing the blessing ceremony with them that day. It proceeded with Marissa and Jared reading letters to the Grandparents as well as the Grandparents giving speeches back to them. The pastor led in some readings of the scripture and some worship, and Jenn also did a reading. The blessing ceremony was beautiful, and was indeed very blessed. Afterwards Jenn and I were able to surprise them with the cake we had ordered which read “Just Blessed”, then we all moved upstairs to Grandmother Gorman’s room to cut the cake, and do some dancing. Marissa and Jared shared a first dance together, followed by her Grandfather, her Uncle Ray, and Daniel. The delight in the Grandparents eyes was beautiful, and it was a special event to witness!
After the dancing completed, we spent some time all together then left Avalon to go to dinner, and let the Grandparents rest. It was a great time of reminiscing about the day, and sharing time and conversation all together! We came home, exhausted, but very happy! And all in all the day was very blessed! I hope you enjoyed the photos of this wonderful day, and congratulations to the newly blessed couple as they go forth to their actual wedding in the summertime!