Our job as your DC wedding photographers is to find ways to capture on film the moments that make your wedding special and unique. That means that we pay particular attention to the personally significant elements that you include in your marriage celebrations. Those are the things that make the story of your wedding day distinctive. They signal that the marriage celebration depicted belongs to not just any couple, but to you and your future spouse. And as a result, those are what you will want preserved forever in photographs.
The good news is that the little rituals and special touches that you include in your marriage ceremony and wedding reception make for great photography. They are laden with emotional significance and often speak volumes about the commitment you and your intended are making to one another. In other cases, those elements are beautiful visual representations of the bonds you will be forging between your families. In either case, the importance of these things makes the photos of them impactful.
In our experience as professional DC wedding photographers, we have found that many couples weave the aforementioned family-related rituals into their wedding ceremony. The main focus of that part of a wedding day is obviously the formal uniting of the two people getting married. Everyone is there to see the you and your significant other exchange the vows and rings that will bond you together for life. Sometimes, however, other portions of your time at the altar can be devoted to commemorating the unification of your broader families. For instance, you might choose to alternate pouring sands of two different colors into one big jar. One color naturally represents your side, and the other your future spouse’s. The resulting distinct layers in the new receptacle are a great depiction of how a wedding unites two families. They become one new whole while still retaining their distinct personalities. The lighting of a unity candle achieves a very similar purpose. Two individual flames become one larger, more powerful one.
A third example of this kind of tradition is the putting of three pegs into a unity cross. As part of the process of tying the knot, a couple will each take a cross to the altar. They will then jointly fit one inside the other. Next, they take three pegs and use them to secure the inner cross to the the outer one. Those bolts are meant to signify the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. That those elements secure the two crosses together symbolizes the way that faith helps anchor and sustain the marriage. As you can see in this image, the ritual makes for a powerful and unforgettable photograph.
The newlyweds in this picture chose to make this rite a part of their nuptials at the University of Maryland. Though technically outside of Washington’s city limits, that institution of higher learning is still in the DC metro area. And any resident of the Nation’s Capital will tell you it is very much a Washington institution! It is one of the best-known universities in the area and a big part of its culture. For that reason, many of its graduates still live nearby. Not surprisingly, a lot of them choose to come back to their alma mater to celebrate their matrimonies. Though the University of Maryland has a special significance for its alums, it is a great choice for any couple. The facilities are fantastic, and the location (just outside of DC) cannot be beat.
This particular pair of newlyweds said, “I do,” in the very spacious UMD Memorial Chapel. That house of worship is a non-denominational church with a high vaulted ceiling and enough seating for 1000 guests. After the exchange of vows, the couple, their wedding party, their families and the other invitees migrated across campus. They then reconvened at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center for their dinner and wedding reception. That locale offered a first-rate staff ready to cater to the couple’s every need. It also provided an elegant setting for newlyweds and their guests to dine and celebrate the big day in style.
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