Shenandoah Country Club Wedding
As I begin my eleventh year of professional photography, I am reminded more and more about how special and significant of a career this is. Few people remind me of this lesson better than John and Nicole. Why? Two reasons – first, I have been present for some of their most important moments. A year ago to their wedding day, I was able to document their proposal on Belle Isle. It was cold, windy, and Nicole whispered to John, “Let’s be careful; there is a creepy guy over there.” That creepy guy was me, hiding (not so well) behind a statue waiting for the moment. Next, I met them in Chicago and photographed their engagement session. Spending time with them while touring the city was a blast. It allowed me to see into their relationship and made me look forward even more to their wedding day. The second reason is I was reminded of the lesson is…them. Meeting and befriending good people who are excited about marriage and the life they are planning on creating is healthy, refreshing, and good for the soul. When I first started this photographic journey, I focused on the photos. Now, I focus on the people, the story, the relationship, and the love. The photos flow from that and through that. No one does that better than John and Nicole.
John and Nicole both have strong familial and cultural ties to their heritage. I love it when couples incorporate who they are and where they came from into their wedding day. Nicole comes from a large, loving, Chaldean family. I really thought her mom was going to kiss my cheeks the first time I met her! I felt like family from the moment we started our morning together, photographing Nicole’s prep.
Once Nicole was ready, we left for the DIA to see John for their first look. John, cool and calm as ever, smirked when I asked if he was ready to see Nicole. It was cold and windy, but you wouldn’t know it from the warmth they had towards each other.
After their first look, we spent some time at the DIA, photographing the best day of their lives.
I love how regal and elegant they both looked on their wedding day. It truly reflected who they are and they way John treats Nicole – with kindness and respect, like a true gentleman.
After spending some time together, their bridal party joined us.
After their first look, John left to head to the church while Nicole went back to her parents’ house for the zeffa. Here, she was greeted by her whole family, who helped escort her to the limo and church.
Nicole and John had their ceremony at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Troy, paying homage to John’s Greek roots.
One of the things I love about cultural weddings is the symbolism behind the rituals. For example, many of the blessings and acts in the service are done in increments of three, representing the Holy Trinity. Here, the priest blesses the bride and groom three times; later they exchange crowns three times before walking around the altar three times as well.
After the ceremony, we left for their Shenandoah Country Club wedding reception. A Shenandoah Country Club wedding is a wonderful experience – the club has a warm ambiance that is complimented by their professional staff.
Immediately following the cake cutting, the party started and didn’t stop for nearly an hour!
After the dancing subsided, their Shenandoah Country Club wedding began with some heartfelt toasts…and a few light-hearted jokes by their siblings.
After the best dinner, it was time for more dancing and traditions.
Best wishes Nicole and John! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a memorable day.