We’d like to celebrate the last 2009 wedding of the year with Gabrielle and Michael, who just tied the knot at Keswick Hall, the beautiful country resort. We had talked periodically over the preceding months during their planning and instantly had a connection, as Gabrielle and Michael met at their work at a naval air base, while Bill served twelve years in the navy (Michael is a Marine pilot). It was cool seeing him in uniform for their ceremony just indoors off the resort’s terrace, overlooking the rolling golf course. ¬†One of the ways they wanted to personalize their ceremony was to involve Gabrielle’s two little girls (for the candle lighting) as well as their abundant nieces and nephews in various capacities, which of course made for some really fun and touching moments.

You can also see the complete set of images from their wedding here. The password is Gabrielle’s last name.

Gorgeous flowers by Floral Images.

Following their brief ceremony, all their guests returned upstairs to the Library for cocktails by one of the two large Christmas trees set up to celebrate the holidays. We took the opportunity then to take care of some room details, family photos and, as cocktail hour was winding down, a few portraits with just the two of them in the long hallway just off the foyer.

As their guests assembled downstairs for dinner, Gabrielle’s adorable daughters welcomed them all, speaking briefly about their mom and Michael, which I’m sure melted more than one heart there. Michael’s groomsmen each stood to offer congratulatory toasts to the couple as well at the farm-style table in the room’s center, decorated by ornate candle-lit silver¬†candelabras. Once the buffet-style dinner was finished, everyone congregated on the edge of the dance floor to watch the evening’s first dance. First dances at weddings with children present aren’t really first dances. They’re close to seventh or eighth dances, as the kids will ignore protocol to do their own thing. And why not? It was fun to see. Following their cake cutting (with Michael’s military-issue saber, no less), everyone returned to the dance floor to dance the night away.

What a wonderful day! Thank you, Gabrielle and Michael, and congratulations on your marriage!

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