It's been a minute since I've posted a blog entry here, and I'm happy to say it's because 2023 has been quite a good year for me, filled with beautiful weddings and events. My list of content to share feels a mile long, but as I reflect on everything that has happened in the last few years, I thought it might be fun to take a walk down memory lane with one of my favorite weddings of 2022. And, as they approach their one year anniversary - there seemed to be no better time for it!
N & C reached out to me last summer to capture their intimate October Nikkah ceremony - a Muslim wedding celebration. During our first chat, N and I bonded over growing up in Brooklyn and being raised amongst a variety of cultures and religions. As a couple blending two different family backgrounds, it was important to them to have someone photograph their wedding who understood what it meant to honor a traditional ceremony while also maintaining the calm, laid-back and family-oriented celebration they envisioned in N's childhood home, with their closest relatives and friends in tow.
Prior to their wedding, we had a few planning calls to lay out the vision for the photos and walk through the ceremony. I was already familiar with a Nikkah ceremony, but the beauty of every wedding I attend and photograph is that no two are the same, so I enjoyed having the opportunity to research aspects of the customs they planned to include beforehand. I also visited their home before to help N and her sister arrange the seating and decor plan. It is only partway through the Nikkah that the couple are united, so a partition - usually decorated with flowers - is arranged between the two parties, who sit on either side.
When I arrived for their day I got to work capturing details - so much thought and care had been put into every aspect of this day, from the placement of candles to the detail of their names on the party gifts.
N got ready upstairs with her mom and sister, carefully attaching jewelry and assembling her dress and veil. The entire party wore shades of white/cream. I really appreciated these sweet intimate moments between the three of them. N had had a traditional mehndi artist come to her house prior to adorn her hands and feet, so it was important for us to capture as many of these beautiful and special details as possible.
With the guests assembled downstairs, N made her grand entrance down the stairs with her sister ahead of her. C was sat in position waiting for her, and the families watched from a few feet away with their Imam presiding nearby. The Imam was sweet, gentle and funny - guiding everyone through a series of prayers and wishes for their life and future together, how they could honor each other as their lives continued and how their community of loved ones could support them. When the time arrived and they both consented to the marriage, C was allowed to pass through the flowers and give his bride a kiss on the forehead. Rings were exchanged, and they were pronounced married!
A celebration followed after - signing the marriage license and contract, portraits with family and of course - lots and lots of delicious food! For me, the most special part happened after photos were done. N's mom made me a huge delicious plate of biryani and I sat with the family and chatted for awhile. With smaller elopements and weddings I always relish the chance, when possible, to interact more deeply with my couples and their loved ones. After including me in such a momentous occasion in their lives it is always such a joy for me to deepen this bond with them.
Happy Anniversary, N & C! Thank you for being such a lovely part of my life - still to this day :)