The first time I met Claudia and David and Briann, it was in downtown Fairfield at Shearwater Coffee many months before their wedding day. It was the laugh I heard first — David’s laugh as I found out later — warm and inviting, with just a touch of a Scottish accent. When I looked up and saw these three smiling at the end of the coffee shop, I couldn’t help but smile at their joy too! Listening to Claudia’s daughter Briann talk about how special Claudia and David’s wedding day was going to be, pretty much did me in — it was so clear right from the beginning that these three people were incredibly special, and their wedding day was going to have so much meaning for them and their families.
In many ways, it wasn’t just a wedding day either — sure, Claudia and David would be tying the knot in an intimate backyard wedding at Claudia’s sister’s house, and there would be a wedding dress and dear friends and gorgeous flowers and delicious food. But Briann’s attentive presence (and her joy over the upcoming day) made it all the more special. She loves David dearly, and loves how he loves Claudia, and it was so evident right from the start that Briann was going to be a huge part of this marriage pledge.
There are pieces of Claudia and David’s story that aren’t mine to tell, but it is safe to say they both experienced tremendous, heartbreaking loss before meeting one another. So many aspects of their day were meant to pay homage to those loved ones who are no longer physically present in their lives, while at the same time celebrating the new future they were committing to together, and the dear friends and family that had traveled from all over to support them.
An intimate backyard wedding like this one takes a special group of vendor partners to pull off too — Leslie Scott (wedding planner extraordinaire), the amazing ladies at Fortuna’s Catering, Braach’s Flowers (the talented florist), and even the wonderful officiant, Sandra Gabriel, brought every little detail together for this special day.
Before their ceremony, we headed to Compo Beach in Westport to take some photos. I loved that everywhere we went, people were honking and waving and congratulating them. This little trio (they’d nicknamed themselves BCD) brought so much joy everywhere they went that day.
Their ceremony was so special — Briann stood up with her mom and David for most of it too. The wedding date they’d chosen was no accident — a date marked by deep loss in the past but now reclaimed with all their joy and love.
There were so many beautiful moments during this day, but for me, the highpoint was during the first dance. As the ceremony ended, and the reception began, David and Briann stepped onto the patio dance floor and danced together as father and daughter. A few minutes later, Claudia and her father joined them. To see these four dancing together, and to see David and Claudia looking at each other across this little backyard dance floor with a deep love for one another after having overcome so much to be together — it still is a highlight of my career as a wedding photographer so far. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole party — my vendor friends and I included.
Claudia, David, and Briann, it was an absolute honor to witness this day for you. BCD forever!
The Cake Box Westport
Rings & Vows