Because our job is to find ways to capture on film all the moments that make a couple’s wedding special and unique, we can understand why many brides and grooms choose to incorporate visually significant elements into their Washington, DC marriage celebrations. The little rituals that people tying the knot include in their nuptial ceremonies and wedding receptions are impactful and meaningful ways to illustrate the feelings they have for one another or the bonds they are forging between their families. That is the same thing that they hire us to do: to tell their love story and narrate the events of their wedding day without using words.
Some of the matrimonial rites that we find look especially good on film are the ones that couples observe when they are in front of their invited guests exchanging vows. Those particular rituals usually emphasize the joining together of the two spouses-to-be and the merging of two families. Some brides and grooms choose to alternate pouring sands of two different colors into one big jar. The resulting distinct layers are both visually pleasing and a great depiction of the way that two individuals become one new whole while still retaining their distinct personalities. The lighting of a unity candle achieves a very similar purpose.
A third example of that kind of tradition — and one that we especially love to photograph — is the putting of three pegs into a unity cross. As part of the process of tying the knot, the couple will each take a cross and will together fit one inside the other. They then take three pegs, which are intended to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and use them to secure the inner cross to the the outer one.
The bride and groom in this photo chose to make this beautiful rite a part of their marriage celebrations at the University of Maryland. Though technically located in the state just to the north of Washington, the University of Maryland is in the DC metro area and is very much a Washington institution. Many graduates of the university choose to come back to their alma mater to celebrate their matrimonies, but the University of Maryland is a great choice for any couple looking for a venue with some very nice spaces for ceremonies and receptions, a very Washingtonian feel and a location that is a bit off the beaten path.
This particular pair of newlyweds said, “I do,” in the very spacious UMD Memorial Chapel, a beautiful non-denominational church with a high vaulted ceiling and enough seating for 1000 guests. After exchanging their vows, the couple, their wedding party, their families and the other invitees migrated across campus to the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center for their dinner and reception. Along with a first-rate staff ready to cater to the couple’s every needs, the locale offers an elegant setting for newlyweds and their guests to dine and then celebrate the big day in style.