Katie and Joe’s Jewish Wedding at Allied Art Guild in Menlo Park, CA
No two weddings are ever the same, and this notion captivates me as a wedding photographer. I personally cherish the experience of meeting every couple, learning about their special relationship, and demonstrating how my photos will for eternity capture the happiness expressed on one of the best days of their lives. It is what makes the wedding photography so interesting and special to me.
Katie and Joe wanted an unique Jewish wedding, one where the atmosphere would reflect not only their everlasting love for each other, but also their distinct personalities. After spending some time discussing everything the couple desired from me as a wedding photographer, it was clear that Kate and Joe’s requests were spot on with my style of photojournalism.
Instead of going with the typical forced poses and formal set-ups, Katie and Joe both wanted me to capture the events of the wedding in the moment. It was their plan to keep everything as natural as possible, and this meant that they aimed to avoid breaking the flow of the wedding by herding family and friends into certain areas for group and individuals portraits.
To avoid disturbing the natural rhythm of the ceremony was a big goal for Joe and Katie, but the couple still wanted these photos that they knew would cause a small bit of chaos on the big day. To solve this problem, we agreed to take the bride and groom portraits two weeks prior to the day of the ceremony. This way Kate and Joe could still have an artistic collection of bridal portraits, but not have to give up breaking away from the wedding to pose. Having a “dry run” of the wedding dress, bouquet, hair and makeup before the wedding is a piece of mind that everything will run on schedule during the wedding day.
Read more in this How to Prepare For Your Wedding Day guide.
On the day Katie and Joe set aside for the bridal portraits, we all met up at Allied Art Guild in Menlo Park, a beautiful and historic garden oasis. Katie’s wedding dress was simple and elegant while Joe’s was looking sharp in his groom suit. Both were so delightful to work with and I was able to capture many beautiful portraits of the two around the venue. The gorgeous architecture of the main building added so much character and context to the images, something which the two simply adored.
The day of the wedding was no different. As family members and friends made their way to the ceremony, I could feel the excitement of the audience that was gathering. One specific person who stood out to me personally was Joe’s sister who was about to administer the ceremony. As the string quartet expertly played their songs, Joe’s sister burst into tears of joy and with the help of Joe’s grandmother, proceeded to pronounce the couple husband and wife. The atmosphere was dense with such a strong sentiment of love and happiness, and the heartfelt, handwritten vows were the metaphorical cherry on top to an already perfect ceremony.
After the ceremony, the reception kicked off and the vibe of the event was definitely one of fun and relaxation. There were no predetermined rituals and ceremonies, just guests enjoying themselves and the company of their newly-wed friends. The uplifting music of a Beatles cover band brought the entire party alive by encouraging people towards the dance floor. The atmosphere began to feel like a trip back in time to the 60’s, which was exactly what the couple had planned. Joe and Katie’s dance skills amazed the entire crowd and everyone stopped everything for a moment to observe the couple in their first dance as husband and wife.
Their wedding photos came out perfect and just what the couple wanted: candid snapshots capturing their real emotions and personalities. Katie's testimony on Yelp about the experience and images I have provided from their wedding, was delightful to read. It’s inspiring for me as a wedding photographer to know that I have met and exceeded their expectations in every way.
I am certain that the pictures from their wedding will forever remind for years to come just how they felt on that special day.
It brings me joy to know that Joe and Katie will be able to one day open their wedding album and relive one of the happiest days of their lives by remembering the atmosphere and the presence of their friends and family who shared the moments with them.