Preparing for the Ceremony at St. Anne Catholic Church
The day began at St. Anne Catholic Church, a place of significance for Cathryn, who is a first-grade teacher there. The mood was electric as she prepared to marry Tim, a graduate student from a large Catholic family.
One of the early emotional peaks was capturing the moment when Cathryn’s father saw her in her wedding dress for the first time. He was nervous and perhaps, for Cathryn’s taste in that moment, a little overly-expressive in his focus on wanting the moment to be perfect for her — it was clearly a day he’s been looking forward to for a long time. These are the sorts of candid, mutli-dimensional moments that Felipe and I love.
Candid Moments Before the Ceremony
Before the ceremony, we spent about 30 minutes with Cathryn and her bridesmaids. The room was buzzing with a mix of nervous energy and playful banter, and at least a few pretty silly moments.
Since Tim and his party had mostly gotten ready off-site, Felipe and I used some of the extra time to get ourselves read for the ceremony. We had the roles ahead of us pretty well-defined for the ceremony. Felipe would primarily use a 24-70mm lens to capture wider shots, while I would switch between a 70-200mm lens on a monopod (because, ouch, my poor back) and a high-aperture 85mm lens to capture more intimate moments.
Traditional Catholic Mass
As the ceremony commenced, the echoed with the sound of classical musicians playing stringed and percussive instruments. Their melodies added a layer of solemnity to the traditional Catholic mass.
Felipe and I were in our element, capturing both the grandeur of the church and the more personal moments.
Family Portraits After the Ceremony
Family portraits followed the ceremony, executed in our usual style. We began with smaller groupings on the bride’s side, expanded to include all family members, and then scaled down to the groom’s side. The statue in the background had some sentimental significance to Cathryn, and so using it for the family portraits was a priority. Unfortunately the mid-afternoon light wasn’t great in this spot. So to balance things out a bit, I used a moonlight to pull up the shadows a bit and the results were nicer than they had any business being under the conditions.
We also had a special moment with Cathryn’s students who were present at the wedding. A large number of her students attended, and we captured this in a very cute portrait. However, we have kept those photos private due to privacy considerations.
Bridal Party and Couple Portraits
After the ceremony, we found ourselves with a brief respite before the reception. A quick pit stop at a drug store was in order — something had found its way into my eye and it was driving me nuts. A blip in the grand scheme of things and we powered through.
The reception was held at the Knights of Columbus in Arlington, an understated event hall of the left flank of a grand building owned and occupied by the Knights known colloquially as just “5115 Little Falls Road”. The mansion, a beautiful historic building made of large grey stone, was a great backdrop for portraits.
Felipe took charge of photographing Tim and his mixed-gender party, while I focused on Cathryn and her bridesmaids.
The portraits were lively and reflected the personalities of the bridal party. We wrapped up the group shots and let the party head into the reception. Felipe went along with them to cover the end of the cocktail hour, while I stayed back to capture some individual portraits with Tim and Cathryn, utilizing the building’s architectural features for these shots.
At this point, Cathryn also remembered that her wedding dress had pockets, and was very excited about them. I mean, what girl wouldn’t be? Put pockets in all the dresses!
Reception at Knights of Columbus
The reception was held at an event hall in Arlington, part of a grand building owned by the Knights of Columbus. The hall was filled with the sounds of conversation and the clinking of glasses, creating a lively setting.
Thanks to the widespread distribution of vaccines, couples like Tim and Cathryn who had waited a long time were finally able to have their weddings. Safety considerations were still in place, but the hall was filled with close family and friends.
Final Thoughts on the Wedding Day
The wedding was not just a celebration of love but also highlighted Tim and Cathryn’s deep friendship. Amidst the challenges of the past year, the day served as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of human connections.
It was a meaningful day for everyone involved, filled with a range of emotions and experiences. Both Felipe and I felt honored to document these moments, capturing the essence of a day that will long be remembered by those who were part of it.