I knew this wedding blog post was going to be a long one because Nuriya and Jess had the most spectacular LGBTQ wedding in Old City Philadelphia this past spring but I had no idea I was going to have this many favorite images!!! I have wanted to shoot a wedding at the iconic Moshulu in Philly for years now and despite what ending up being a very rainy night, these two trusted us to take them around Old City Philly that afternoon for wedding portraits. And they are some of my favorite photos from my entire career.
This sweet lesbian couple hired us last summer and from the moment I met them, I knew they were going to be more than clients. They are both so incredibly kind and look at each other in such a way that you can feel the love around them. They both got ready at the same AirBnB in separate rooms before sharing the sweetest of first looks. The photos show Nuriya's utter joy when she saw Jess for the first time and I tear up even now looking at them. I also loved Jess's mom reaction to seeing Jess in her wedding suit! So many parents struggle with seeing their children wear different than what has come to be expected of a bride or groom and seeing her mom’s face light up with joy and hear her gush over how incredible Jess looked, lets just say it was a really special moment. We then drove over to Old City and I got to photograph them on the 18th floor of our apartment building BRIDGE over looking the Ben Franklin Bridge. I loved how their outfits complemented both themselves and each other, Jess in a custom bespoke suit from Bindle and Keep, Nuriya in a gorgeous blush gown from Bhldn. After some more photos in Old City, even stopping at our favorite coffee chop, United By Blue) we headed down to the Moshulu to do family photos and capture a few shots of their bridal party.
As the guests gathered for the ceremony, the windows picked up and the dark clouds rolled in, forcing the ceremony into a different space than originally intended but I was struck by how calm Nuriya and Jess were. Even when there were mishaps from the torrential down pour that lasted for several hours (the sound equipment got wet, water leaked all over the reception space, mics wouldn't work), these two faced it all with such calm and unaffected joy. Jess had planned a surprise to sing to Nuriya and when the water caused the sound equipment not work, Jess grabbed a guitar and sang acousticly to her new wife. And there were few dry eyes in the room after that!
Thats what married life is about though. Making it work. Staying by each other when the figurative (and in their case!!) literally storms roll through. Its making each other laugh, being present, finding joy and holding each others hand the whole way through. And these two did that so so beautifully. Listening to their friends and family give toasts about how strong, resilient, compassionate and kind these two are, confirmed what I already knew. Nuriya and Jess are the kind of people who's love will not only last but inspire.
And a HUGE shout out to their DJ and our friend DJ Jovi for working through all the craziness and being such an incredible DJ. It is so fun to work with people we already love! If you are looking for an LGBTQ friendly DJ and someone who knows how to keep your dance floor going all night long, Jovi is your girl!!!
It was my honor to not only photograph their wedding day, but to get to know these two incredible women on a personal level and I thrilled to now call them friends. Jess and Nuriya, I hope you are enjoying every minute of this crazy thing called life and that you know just how honored I am that you chose Jordan and I to photograph your wedding day! Enjoy my (many!!) favorites ya'll!