I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting Rachael in a D.C. coffee shop to chat about the details of her upcoming Wedding in Baltimore, Maryland. As we went over details she’d mentioned to me that she is of Samoan descent, and would be doing a traditional Samoan Siva dance at her reception. Couple that with the fact that she’s also hilarious and a blast to be around; I was absolutely thrilled to document her special day.
We photographed their engagement session at Great Falls, and captured some beautiful photographs. As usual, time flew quickly and before we knew it, their wedding day had arrived.
My second shooter and I arrived to photograph both Nick and Rachael getting ready with the bridal party. Not long after, it was time to head off to Saint Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore. The ceremony was beautiful, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole church. Rachael’s Father walked her down the aisle, and also sang a song.
The Weather was unseasonably warm and sunny for October, which made it a great day to go around to a few of their favorite local areas to get some fun portraits.
Afterward, we headed to St. John’s of Baltimore City, by far one of my favorite reception venues to date. It is an absolutely stunning venue to have a reception. It was decorated so beautifully on the inside, with rustic and romantic details. Warm romantic lights strung across the room, the tables decorated with rich greenery and candles. Gorgeous old stained glass windows, tall ceilings, and the worn look of the walls had so much character it almost felt like being somewhere in Italy at night.
Barbecue in the form is a huge pig roast was served, and a delicious cake adorned with berries.
I knew that Rachael and Nick were a lot of fun, but I was not aware of the full extent until I had the joy of witnessing their fun filled reception. Surrounded by family and friends, they danced the night away. I absolutely love receptions when just about everyone seems to get up and let loose on the dance floor; and they did just that! You could genuinely feel the joy and love in the air.
And not till the day of the Wedding did I find out that Rachael is actually a Samoan Princess, as her Father is the Chief of their tribe. The time for her Siva dance arrived, and she left the reception to change. She came out presented by her Father and other members of her family, fully dressed in traditional Samoan dress. Rachael danced a beautiful Siva as her family and friends all got up and gathered around her on the dance floor. Everyone came prepared, and began throwing out cash. I mean, a lot of cash. Over $2,000 in cash then presented to her by her Grandmother afterwards.
Everyone danced the night away, until it was time for their sparkler sendoff. Rachael & Nick’s wedding is such a wonderful example of why I do what I do. I absolutely love capturing people from diverse backgrounds coming together and celebrating love. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness to Rachael & Nick. ; )