We are so excited that we shot our first Big Fat Greek Wedding here in New Jersey! Christina and Daniel are in the midst of one of the most exciting times of their lives. Not only are they getting married, but they are both pursuing their careers as doctors! They are spending days and weeks apart while Christina is going through school and Daniel is starting his career as a surgeon. Yale is very lucky to have Daniel on their team! Congrats again! Christina warned us this was going to be one fun and crazy day full of Greek traditions. And she was right- F U N!
It was a drizzly, gloomy day in June as we arrived at the hotel to meet up with Daniel and his son. Their bond was so sweet and it was fun to watch them lay out their suits for the day. Daniel is very charming with his New Zealand accent. You can see all the amazing qualities Christina sees in him. We left the guys to get ready in their quiet hotel room and would meet up with them later at the ceremony. We were warned we were about to enter a much different environment. HA! He said, “It’s crazy over there. Are you sure you don’t want to stay with us here at the hotel?”. Of course, we happily declined and headed towards the bride and her girls. Spoiler alert- it is ALWAYS crazier where the girls are getting ready! That’s part of the fun. And Christina’s mom’s house was full of girls anticipating the big day. Christina was already looking absolutely draw dropping gorgeous. She was sipping on her champagne with a cute striped straw as she was finishing up her hair and makeup. There was constant chatter, makeup, hairspray, the smell of food, little girls running about…it was a home filled with a lot of love, just the way we like it. After rearranging her moms living area (ha!), we set up the dress and all of her details for her to get ready. Her sisters and best friend were the sweetest and looked amazing in the blue bridesmaid gowns. I love that Christina got ready in her mom’s home. We love to shoot with things in the home that maybe she grew up with her whole life and incorporate those things into the images of the day. There was one particular detail that Christina shared with me to photograph. The “evil eye” was to ward off bad wishes, jealousy and evil thoughts to preserve her happy day. This eye was literally the the smallest thing I have ever held. I was so scared that I would lose this and bring doom on the whole day!! Luckily we got it pinned on her dress and all was well! Whew!
Christina has impeccable taste. Classy, chic and gorgeous! Her blush pink dress covered in the bling and tool was so dreamy and romantic. And what better to pair it with than a fabulous pair of peep toe Louis Vuitton shoes! Keeping things traditional, Daniel and Christina decided to wait and see each other when she walked down the aisle. St Andrew Greek Orthodox Church was filled with family and friends anxiously awaiting the arrival of the wedding party. Daniel gleamed as he and his son watched as Daniel’s daughter and soon-to-be wife would walk down the aisle. The Greek traditions are so meaningful and incredibly gorgeous. The bride and groom hold candles during the ceremony. These symbolize the light that Christ symbolizes. The priest poured wine into the “common cup” and the bride and groom each took three sips from it. The wine symbolized life, and the sharing of sips of it is symbolic of how the couple will share in life together. Then lastly, as they wear the crowns, the couple walks around the table that holds the cup, the Bible, and the candles. They are lead by the priest in this first walk together as husband and wife. This walk is a symbol of their commitment to stay with each other throughout life’s journey. How beautiful is that? After a beautiful ceremony, they ran from the church as multi-colored confetti was thrown into the air. It was perfect.
They will now be a family of four. Daniel and his two children will welcome Christina as part of their family. While shooting portraits, it was clear to see that this was going to be a beautiful family. We are so very excited for them. After portraits in Morristown, we all headed to Brooklake Country Club to start celebrating! The rain had stopped and the fog rolled over the hills of the golf course. It was seriously the most gorgeous view. Gah! There was to be a big cocktail hour and dessert hour before and after the reception. Trust me, it was incredible and we may have indulged for ourselves! The dancing continued through out the evening with traditional Greek music and money dances. It was beautiful to see Christina and her mom dancing together. Money was gathered towards the end of the night from the dance floor and placed in a pile for the bride and groom. They topped off the evening with fancy cigars and some epic photos in the mist. The last dance was all for the bride and groom as everyone surrounded them and cheered them on into their new future.
What a beautiful and memorable day it was. We are thrilled for this new family of four and are grateful to have them in our lives. Big Fat Greek Weddings may be my new favorite thing :) Congrats guys and we love watching you succeed in your careers and fall deeper in love. Cheers!
Leaha + Jeffrey
Thank you to all of the vendors who made this wedding spectacular. We enjoyed working alongside you and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Ceremony: St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church
Reception: Brooklake Country Club
Videographer: Fiore Films
Florist: Warren Country Florist
Cake Artist: La Promenade
Band: Elite Entertainment
Greek Band: Athena Band
Makeup Artist: House of Luciano
Hair Stylist: Stella Valentine Salon
Bridal Gown: Bijou Bridal
Bridal shoes: Louis Vuitton
Groom’s Tux: Vera Wang
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