Maggie and August’s wedding day was one of those days that stretches on, blissfully, for years instead of hours. The confidence, the comfort, the certainty of their love put us all at ease, meaning us humans, me included.
T and H had a traditional Vietnamese wedding with a tea ceremony at H’s parents’ house. There were tons of moments I loved. First the groomsmen arriving with the bright red Mâm quả (Red tin baskets full of presents) for the Đám Hỏi (engagement ceremony.) They were led into the house by T’s parents. To enter the house, all ducked through the archway that read Vu Quy (leaving home.) I adore the photo of H’s aunties putting a present of earings on her ears. The way T would bend over to smooch H. The altar to the ancestors where the tea ceremony took place. The three wedding dresses H wore. The traditional red Áo dài, a Vietnamese wedding dress, and the blue Áo gấm, a similar garment worn by the groom. Then the elegant white Áo dài for H during the reception, and a tux for T. In the morning we had a sweet portrait session among the flowers at a botanical garden.
What a stunning day Rachael & Alex had for their Ashokan Dreams wedding. The venue is perched on a hill overlooking the majestic Ashokan Reservoir and Catskill Mountains. Each time I glanced over at the Mountains, they had shifted into a slightly different gorgeous color. As the sun fell further into the horizon, the entire landscape lit up orange, green, and blue. Rachael, a talented printmaker, made prints of the Mountains for each reception table, so there was a delightful doubling of the landscape. Intelligent details like that were everywhere. I loved the groomsmen’s bolo ties, the delicate latticework of leaves on Rachel’s dress, the horns the two drank out of during the reception, and the inscription on Alex’s ring! Alex’s family from the midwest has a tradition of forming an adhoc band for big celebrations. Their serenade was particularly lively and joyous. The day kept unfolding and unfolding, and it went further than I ever could have imagined. Near the end of the night there was a surprise performance by a mysterious man in a white fur vest and a dolphin…
Venue: Ashokan Dreams
Wedding dress: Amanda Garrett
Bolo ties: Rocky Mountain Western
Invitations & Centerpieces: www.rachaelabrams.com
Miriam and Jeremy’s Awbury Arboretum Wedding was my second time photographing at this green oasis in the urban landscape of Northwest Philadelphia. Not one, not two, but three couples I had worked with in the past were in attendance, which made for a delightfully warm village feeling.
We began with a first look on the porch of the Francis Cope House. Miriam and Jeremy approached each other back to back, and before they had laid eyes on each other, they were already dancing. I have the distinct pleasure of documenting some of the most deliriously happy moments of people’s lives, but Miriam and Jeremy’s energy had me running for a thesaurus to try to describe the fever pitch of their happiness. Insuppressible. Irrepressible. Ebullient. Rhapsodical. None of this does justice to the spirit of the day.
There were countless blessings by a flock of rabbis, so much dancing, so much singing, there was jumping rope with tied-together napkins, a raucous horah, a puppet show, and to top it all off there was Jeremy serenading Miriam with I want it that way.
More like these two please!
Catering: Miss Rachel’s Pantry
Amelia and Mark were married on a warm June day at Windy Hill Farm in Cedar Grove, North Carolina not far from Chapel Hill. The two prepared for the day in a sweet old farmhouse full of antiques and curiosities. A pair of rabbits dozed in a hutch, Tiger lilies reached for the sun. The ceremony was held on the far side of a sun-drenched field under the shade of a gorgeous stand of trees at the edge of a forest. Amelia and her family made their way across the field on the back of a tractor with parasols for cover. They were met with old time banjo music. Nestled into the shade, Amelia and Mark’s friends and family shared readings and laughter. During cocktail hour guests sheltered from the sun under parasols and ate oysters. The barbecue dinner was scrumptious, the dancing lively, and the goats came out for a romp in the gloaming. It was a storybook day that I was honored to document.
Many thanks to my talented 2nd photographer, Yuri Vaysgant
Venue: Windy Hill Farm
Wedding dress: Judd Waddell
Florist: Bluebird Meadows
Wedding planner: C+D Events
Hair: WINK Hair and Make up
Catering: ACME Food & Beverage Co.
In 2017 I photographed 14 weddings in California, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
In 2017 more people trusted me to make art about their love than ever before, and I am eternally grateful for that.
My 2018 schedule is shaping up to be even fuller, and I can’t wait for all the unexpected beauty to come.
Here are some of my favorites from this past year: