Elizabeth and Christian described their ceremony as “a pretty standard wedding,” but I beg to differ. As a professional wedding photographer, I can tell you that no wedding is standard. They are all special in unique ways. Elizabeth’s and Christian’s winter wedding proves my point. It may not have had lots of bling and crystal, but it was perfect for them.
A Winter Wedding at Wesley United Methodist Church
After dating for several years, this duo decided to get married at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Erie, Pa. The website promises that it is a place where “you can feel free to be yourself” and “laughter and joy fills the hallways”. And that’s exactly what happened at Elizabeth’s and Christian’s winter wedding. From the moment the bride walked down the aisle with her father, the couple made the ceremony their own.
To add something special to their nuptials, Christian and Elizabeth chose to add a handfasting ceremony to their vows. This Celtic tradition goes back thousands of years. The couple joins hands and while an officiant wraps a cord around them to symbolize their commitment to each other. Two people have now become one. In fact, the idiom “tying the knot” comes from this ancient ceremony. The couple chose a white silk cord for the pastor to wrap around their clasped hands to add special meaning to their vows.
Bridal Portraits in the Snow
Of course, a winter wedding in Erie means snow. After the ceremony, Christian and Elizabeth had a good laugh as they waded through the snow to take some outdoor photos. I love capturing natural backgrounds and spontaneous moments when shooting a wedding. While we took photos of Elizabeth and Christian with their bridal party, getting these shots of the happy couple slipping in the snow is one of my favorite moments. They perfectly captured the giddy happiness of the new couple in a super fun way.
The American Legion Reception
The reception was held at the Wesleyville American Legion Post 1917. The couple chose this venue to reflect Christian’s service in the National Guard and love of country. Instead of having guests sign a guest book, Elizabeth and Christian chose to incorporate the tradition of the wedding tree. Here, they invited their friends and family to ‘leaf’ a thumbprint on a branch. By asking their guests to leave their thumbprints on a drawing of a tree, Elizabeth and Christian created a beautiful memento of their wedding that they will be able to cherish for years to come. This theme appeared again on the cake topper, a tree with curving branches that said Mr. and Mrs. at the base. Christian’s wedding band is made of out dark wood, symbolizing the strength of his love for Elizabeth.
I ended the shoot with some moving black and white photos of Elizabeth dancing first with her new husband and then with her father. I always try to catch the intimate moments of a wedding in black and white. To me, these images make the moment appear timeless. Removing the color allows the viewer to focus on the photo subject’s emotions.
As you can see, Elizabeth’s and Christian’s wedding was anything but standard. No matter what your plans are for your wedding, I will capture what makes your day unique. Here’s another wedding I photographed during winter in Erie,PA. Please contact me to discuss the vision for your special day.
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