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Hamilton Hall Wedding in Salem, Massachusetts

Shane Godfrey never fails to capture weddings in a way that will stand the test of time, and this beauty below is the perfect example. Classic yet not stuffy, this couples’ stunning Salem soiree at the Hamilton Hall leaves us with a gallery that just shouldn’t be missed. See it all here.


From Shane GodfreyAmanda and Burt are my second couple of my 2014 season and their Hamilton Hall Wedding did not disappoint! I knew when I met them and they explained how relaxed and fun they wanted their day to be that we would be a good fit for one another. We had a ton in common aside from their wedding. They live down the street from me, work in publishing, and Burt is also in a band that the weekend prior to their wedding, played with a friend of mine’s band at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. I had somehow never been to Hamilton Hall in Salem Massachusetts to photograph a wedding before and after this wedding I cannot wait to go back! The hall is lit by huge windows that run along the sides of the main ballroom and across the street there is a charming park which is a perfect place for photographs, especially as the sun is setting as our situation was on this day. They had both the ceremony and reception on-site, and the entire day was filled with love and laughter by both the couple and their guests as it was a smaller, more intimate wedding of a hundred or so people. I can’t say enough about this amazing couple and I can’t wait to run into them around the neighborhood!

Photography: Shane Godfrey Photography | Floral Design: Audrey's Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Ceremony Venue: Hamilton Hall | Reception Venue: Hamilton Hall | Caterer: Vinwood Catering | Makeup: Jennifer Zielinksi Of Rouge Cosmetics

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Peabody Essex Museum

Choosing your wedding venue sets the tone for your entire wedding weekend. So why not pick a locale that’s totally unique? Enter, Peabody Essex Museum. Located in the heart of historic Salem, Massachusetts, this stunning space has three incredible rooms, as well as an outdoor garden area, that will have your guests wowed.

The Peabody Essex Museum is the perfect combination of warm + historic along with clean + modern, which makes it easy for any couple to see their wedding day vision come to life! Featuring the contemporary Atrium (which transforms beautifully from daylight to dramatic evening light), the historic + elegant East India Marine Hall and the Bartlett & Copeland Galleries which open up to the stunning Asian Gardens, this venue simply has it all.  The central location puts guests close to restaurants, attractions and hotels all within walking distance!

Thanks to changes in their renovation schedule, there are still lots of Saturday night dates available at the Peabody Essex Museum in 2015. For tons more information and to book your wedding date, head over here!

Photo Credits: Ned Jackson Photography | Kevin Liang Photography | Sherrell Photography

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New England Fall Wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum

There are some weddings I could cozy up with all day, and this fall New England wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum is definitely one of them. Give And Take Pictures was behind the lens to capture moment after moment of pure prettiness, leaving us with a gallery so good, you’ll need to set aside some serious time. Bonus? Their film from Long Haul Films below is equally time worthy…


From the Bride…Our wedding was an immaculate culmination of love and hard work. Alastair and I live in Sierra Leone, West Africa. When he proposed to me in early January 2013, I knew I had to work fast and smart to have a New England Fall wedding. Alastair is British, and most of his family is in the U.K., while I am American and, although I grew up on the North Shore of Boston, my family is spread out across the States. Planning a transatlantic wedding from deep in the jungle of West Africa was no small feat. I had to rely on gut instinct and as many recommendations as I could dig up. I researched on the internet like crazed woman to find the vendors that I knew would help us create a stunning experience for our family and friends.

Finding the reception venue was the biggest hurdle. I wanted something with more character than your average hotel ballroom, and I didn’t trust New England weather for an outdoor ceremony, but I still wanted something classy that held the personality of the North Shore. The Peabody Essex Museum is like the crown jewel of Salem. I had been there to visit galleries in the past, but when I saw the opportunity to actually have a reception under the spectacular glass ceiling of the Atrium, I knew we had our location.

The church where we had our ceremony was only 100 feet from the PEM, so all of our guests walked from one spot to the other en masse. It felt as if we were parading down the streets of Salem. This was especially felt when guests were greeted outside the museum by two traditional djembe drummers!

Many guests traveled from the UK for our wedding and we did our best to combine traditional elements from British and American weddings, but also putting our own personal flare to it. The church even had both flags waving to celebrate our union. We were intent on everyone really enjoying the celebration that we had prepared. The wedding was an entire weekend event, starting with a picnic on Friday and ending with a brunch on Sunday. By the end of the weekend, continents collided and we were all one big happy family.

When trying on wedding dresses, I had a completely different vision of what I wanted to look like. I remember seeing the dress I ended up purchasing on the hanger and thinking, “No way!” But, I tried it on and it ended up being the one! So, it is important to keep your mind open when wedding planning and not stay too fixed on one particular vision. My headpiece is an original piece that was constructed from a vintage brooch.

The ceremony was incredibly sacred to us. We constructed it the way we felt best, using the Pastor from my childhood who knew and loved us. Leaving the church, we were greeted by an array of sparklers

For the reception, it was so important to us to have good food, music and an incredible vibe that made everyone feel welcome and important. The Hawthorne Hotel did an outstanding job setting up the Atrium with beautiful food stations for hors d’oeuvres and then a leisurely four course meal. Our DJ was phenomenal with all the perfect music and lighting to fit the mood of the evening.

All in all, it was the most perfect day (and weekend) for us. Our friends and families from all over the globe came together and were able to enjoy celebrating together on our behalf. Our photographer and filmographers did an exceptional job capturing the day in their creative styles. We couldn’t have imagined how emotional it was going to be to see the photos and trailer, rushing all of the memories of the day right back to us. Both were fantastic!

My advice to brides is to be true to what you want but be flexible, remember to create a meaningful day and not just an event that has a whole bunch of little pieces that only you like. Lastly, if I can do it from the back of beyond in Sierra Leone, anyone can plan a great wedding!

Photography: Give And Take Pictures | Wedding Dress: Allure | Wedding Cake: Montilio's Baking Company | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter's Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Peabody Essex Museum | Catering: The Hawthorne Hotel | Makeup: Rouge Cosmetics | Hair: Brandon / Salon Sage | Bridal Flowers: Angela Kenley - Bokay Florist | DJ And Lighting: Jay Foss | Floral Centerpieces: Flowers By Darlene | Headpiece: Jo Barnes Vintage | Wedding Film: Long Haul Films