Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lauren and Craig had a beautiful wedding at the Mile Away Restaurant, and at the very end of the reception they did a sparkler send-off. This was an exciting and memorable way to end the evening, and all the guests had a great time with it. I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide a few tips about how to pull this off successfully, beautifully, and safely.


First of all, safety is the utmost concern when playing with sparklers. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of sparklers within close proximity to a lot of people, and let’s be honest…. many of these people may or may not have been celebrating heavily during the reception. Be aware of yourself and also those around you! Clothing and hair is flammable, and brides in long flowing dresses certainly are at risk. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.


Secondly, you need the right kind of sparkler. The typical short ones that you find at the 4th of July are great, but they burn out very quickly!  Bear in mind that it takes time for everyone to get their sparklers lit at the same time, and the effort could be over rather suddenly if half the group’s sparklers burn out before you even get them all lit. They actually make 36″ sparklers which are perfect for this (just Google it). They have a 4-minute burn time, which gives you ample opportunity to 1. get everybody’s lit, and 2. give the bride and groom time to travel through the flaming tunnel.  They also come in 20″ lengths which have a 2 minute burn time, and could be a good option as well.


A great way to get all the sparkers lit is to share the flame! Instead of actually taking the time to light every single one with a lighter, get a few started and then have those people light someone else’s with their sparks. Gets the job done quickly.


Another important tip for making this photo opportunity successful is to not run through. Again, do not run. There is no need. If you’re using the 36″ sparklers you have tons of time to walk through (and probably 2 or 3 more times, as well). Walking helps to avoid accidents and also –very importantly– gives your photographer time to get the shot! The whole thing is mostly about the photo, right? A fast moving subject in the dark with flaming fireballs does not make an easy shot to get. Walk at a normal pace, feel free to pause in the middle or at the end, whatever you like, and give your photographer a chance to get the shot that you want.

And finally…. this goes without saying, but plan ahead and have a metal bucket or trash can available that people can put their sparkler in to finish burning down. The sticks stay hot even when extinguished so use caution when disposing of them. Don’t throw them into the grass, or leaves, or even a plastic bag or container.

Have any more sparkler tips? Feel free to share in the comments!

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It was nearly an entire year ago that Lauren first contacted me about shooting her wedding at the Mile Away in Milford, and we never had an actual meeting but she booked her date with me based on the work she saw on my website ….. and over the months that passed I didn’t know much about her and her fiance Craig, except for her Pinterest board that she’d shared with me. And I LOVED it. I knew she was the kind of bride I’m always looking for….. casual, rustic, stylish. And then one day a few months ago she messaged me and announced….. she was pregnant! So instantly this wedding became elevated to mega-celebration.  I love the idea of an expecting bride, and she certainly was so pretty, at just 6 months along.

A couple of weeks before the wedding I met Lauren and her mom in person at a Starbucks and instantly loved her. She’s so laid back, so natural, so chill…… I hugged her instantly, and I’m not even a totally huggy person (maybe it was the preggo belly… how can you not??) No expectations, no demands, just looking to beautifully document a happy day. The biggest surprise– a gender reveal wedding cake! This was planned far in advance and only a few people knew it was going to happen. What an awesome treat for them and their guests!

Their big day at the Mile Away had the most perfect weather, and the flowers were just gorgeous.

Mile Away Restaurant Wedding | Flowers by The Garden Party

mile away wedding garden party flowers

They had a beautiful first look in the gardens at the Mile Away, which left us lots of time to get the group shots done before the ceremony…. leaving more time to party afterwards!

mile away wedding photos

Lauren & Craig's Wedding at the Mile Away Restaurant

mile away wedding, milford NH

mile away wedding photos

Wedding Cake at the Mile Away Restaurant by Frederick's Pastries NH

The highlight of the evening was the gender reveal cake! Oh the suspense was so thick in that room, I can’t even tell you. Not even Lauren & Craig knew what they were having….. the verdict from the ultrasound went straight into a sealed envelope and delivered right to Frederick’s Pastries. The excitement was palatable. What a moment! It’s definitely something I will not forget, and I’m so happy I was there to see it.  These photos were taken within split seconds of each other….It’s a GIRL!!

gender reveal wedding cake at Mile Away Restaurant

gender reveal wedding cake

The dance party was rocking out thanks to DJ Mike “Ammo” Leclair, with tons of early 90s rap. Definitely brought back a lot of middle school memories for me!

mile away reception tent at night

The night ended with an awesome sparkler send-off!  Very fun, and made for some great photos.  For more information about that, see my post about 4 Tips for a Successful Sparkler Send-off.

mile away wedding sparklers send off

Mile Away Restaurant Wedding Sparkler Send Off

Congratulations, Lauren & Craig! I enjoyed every minute with you on your wedding day, and I wish you every bit of happiness and rest before the baby arrives!  🙂  I can’t wait to see pictures!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Mile Away Restaurant, Milford NH
Flowers: The Garden Party, Milford NH
DJ: Mike “Ammo” Leclair
Cake: Frederick’s Pastries, Amherst NH
Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal
Hair/Makeup: Nu Look Hair & Body, Hudson NH (Meridith)
Maids’ Dresses: Modcloth

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  • 4 Tips for a Successful Sparkler Send-off | NH Wedding Photographer - […] A Special Mile Away Wedding | Lauren & Craig […]ReplyCancel

  • Karen Bravo Sosa - Hello,

    My name is Karen, my fiance Ryan and I are having our wedding at Mile Away in Milford NH on 9/27/14. We love your work with weddings, they are rustic and timeless….exactly what we are looking for in wedding pictures. We are interested in learning more about your packages and rates.
    Thank you so much1

    karen and ryanReplyCancel

Here’s a beautiful feature over at REstyleSOURCE showcasing the images that I styled and photographed of Concord’s amazing Aissa Sweets–filed under the Inpsiration category for local people + places.  I’m so glad that other folks have taken notice of their extraordinary product too!


featured on REstyleSOURCE


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Eeeep!!  This is a feature that I’m really proud of, because to be published in SMP is a noteworthy occasion for any photographer and vendor. Super excited! And Sam & Andy’s romantically foggy Castle in the Clouds wedding couldn’t be more deserving.

featured on Style Me Pretty Massachusetts

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Alex’s mom Colleen got all choked up when she saw that I had chosen the shade of the tall evergreen tree in their front yard as the background for some posed photos. She said, “I’ve been thinking about cutting this tree down, but we’ve used it for pictures for so many years….. proms, etc….. that I wanted to wait until after Alex’s wedding day.”   Looks like this tree has once again provided some beautiful family memories. 🙂

searles castle wedding photos 3

Alex had the most beautiful, romantic wedding hair I have ever seen, done by Innovations Salon & Spa in Merrimack……. it totally fit Alex’s personality, and together with her gorgeous Lazaro gown, it completed her look of total romance. Soft, pretty, feminine, with touches of sparkle and shine…..well, she was just radiant.

nashua wedding photography

Alex did a first look with her dad, being the first time he’d seen her in her wedding gown. She gave him a personalized hankie in case he needed it (he did).

dad first look

Later, a peek at the events at the church Alex has attended for her whole life,  just prior to a beautiful wedding Mass…..

wedding at st christopher nashua NH-2

wedding st christopher nashua NH

And finally, arrival at Searles Castle in Windham…

This is probably my favorite groom portrait I have ever done. Kind of epic. Work the camera, Matt!

searles castle wedding photos 4

searles castle wedding photos

Searles Castle Wedding Photos

Meanwhile, back at the castle,  a beautiful tented reception was getting underway.  Lovely centerpieces were created by Topiary Florist, and Jacques Pastries made the simply elegant cake. The mood was set to mellow Dave Matthews Band tunes, and all the tables were named after DMB songs. So cool.

The dance party after dinner was high-energy, loud, and gleeful. Never seen such a joyous, hard rocking group as this!  DJ Billy Rears kept the volume cranked and the dance floor rocking. Lots of good lovin’ going on there!

searles castle wedding reception dancing

searles castle wedding at night

Alex and Matt have been an absolute dream to work with over the past year and more, starting with their engagement photos last summer at Benson Park, then Alex’s bridal shower in June, and finally their long-awaited wedding. It was a beautiful day, and I’m so happy that everything turned out so beautifully. Many wishes for happy years to come!

Ceremony: St. Christopher’s Parish, Nashua NH
Reception Venue: Searles Castle, Windham NH
Wedding Gown: Lazaro from Allegria Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: from Madeline’s Daughter
Flowers: Topiary Florist, Nashua NH
Hair: Innovations Salon & Spa, Merrimack NH
DJ: Billy Rears, Get Down Tonight
Limousine: Black Tie
Cake: Jacques Pastries

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