Where to even begin?! I should start by saying that I am not typically a destination photographer — however I am always up for one or two destination weddings per year, especially when it happens to coincide with 1) cold, nearly-winter weather at home and 2) my (almost) 30th birthday! I first met Courtney and Ryan for their engagement session this past January. Together they live in Massachusetts with their German Shepard, Oakley, and we coordinated the session around when I was up visiting a friend in Boston. The weather could not have been any more different than Aruba — it was bitterly cold and windy, and as we shot we just told ourselves that wouldn’t be the case the next time we met!
Courtney and Ryan have known each other for 10 years! As Courtney tells it, “We met when I was in college in 2010; we were friends for a while when Ryan joined the US Marine Corps in 2011. He came home a few times and tried to persuade me to go on a date with him. I finally gave in, and we decided to start a long distance relationship on November 11th, 2012! We have been in love ever since, almost 10 years later!” Courtney’s ring is a princess cut diamond with small diamonds around the band. “I love it! Ryan picked out the ring all on his own without any help!”
It truly seemed like their Aruba wedding was so far in the distant future for so long, but all of a sudden Matt and I were packing our bags — and my gear — and cruising out of Newark on our way to sunnier skies. I had been to Aruba three times as a teenager, but I was so excited to be back! We stayed at the resort where the wedding would be — and where the bride, groom, wedding party, and guests were staying as well. We ended up having such a good time with everyone in the days leading up to the wedding, and after as well! Aruba is known for it’s perfect weather and partly-cloudy skies at this time of year, and it was so refreshing not worrying about the threat of rain as we neared closer to wedding day.
And finally, it was here! Courtney and the girls got ready in the bride and groom’s suite, while Ryan and the guys got dressed downstairs. It was the most beautiful day — 80 degrees, breezy, and so much gorgeous sunlight. As a photographer, I was in heaven. As a human, I was also in heaven, and so was Matt — perks of being married to a photographer is you get to come along as her unpaid assistant. Not too shabby for a business trip!
From start to finish, it was an absolutely perfect wedding weekend. I couldn’t be happier for sweet Courtney and Ryan, and wish them all the best in this next chapter together as husband and wife.
Photography: Jill Sahner Photography
Venue: Hyatt Regency Aruba
Florals: High Performance Aruba
Hair: George Bislip
Makeup: Bombchelle Beauty
DJ/Entertainment: Lee Croes
Bridal Gown: Essense of Australia, Bremelia Custom Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Birdy Grey