Are you trying to decide whether to have a parent walk you down the aisle during your wedding ceremony? As Northern Virginia wedding photographers,we know it is not always an easy decision. For starters, you might be among the many who are uncomfortable with the origins of the custom. This is particularly true when it comes to brides and their fathers. Some view the tradition of having their father “give them away” as a relic from the days when a woman lived with her parents until she got married and left the house. Others see it as a way to mark the bride’s from his little girl to an independent, full-grown woman. Those folks often also believe it is a beautiful moment between a two people who share a special bond.
Family dynamics can also sometimes complicate your decision about this issue. You might find it hard to decide whether to ask your mother or your father to accompany you, for example. It those cases, it might be better to have both or neither walk with you. We have photographed many weddings in which the future spouses have gone with one of those two options.
If you do choose to have a parent deliver you to the altar, however, it will almost certainly lead to some touching moments and beautiful photography. The special relationship between a parent and their child is something that is meant to be eternal. So the ritual of a parent “giving away” their son or daughter can be a lovely way to recognize the importance of that bond. And at a very minimum, the ritual gives a future spouse and their parent few one last chance to share some time together before the exchange of vows.
The bride in this image obviously wanted the tradition to be part of her Washington marriage celebrations. She asked her father to escort her down the aisle towards the altar to her husband-to-be. It was a beautiful moment — one that these Northern Virginia wedding photographers loved capturing on film!
But there was one element of it that the couple’s wedding guests found particularly moving. It was something the father of the bride did before presenting his daughter to her groom. He put his hands gently on her shoulders, pulled her closer and gave her a kiss on the forehead. It was a very sweet and touching gesture. It underscored how much he loved her. It communicated without words that he would always be there to protect and watch out for her. The look of joy on her face was also the perfect nonverbal response. It told him that she will always love him and always be her little girl. The resulting image was one that any bride would want to grace her mantel. It would also make any Washington, DC, area wedding photographer proud to have taken it.
What really made this shot that sort of picture was the angle from which we took it. We were standing behind the officiant and the bridesmaids when we captured the image. That allowed us to capture the looks on both their faces from a close distance. At the same time, the wedding guests still had a clear view of the proceedings. They were not distracted by the presence of a Washington, DC, area wedding photographer. That we were able to accomplish all this was thanks to the excellent venue where the marriage celebrations were held.
The bride and groom in this photo tied the knot at Raspberry Plain Manor in Leesburg, Virginia. They had originally wanted to get married outside on the venue’s lovely lawns. Sadly, the weather did not cooperate. The sky over Northern Virginia that day was gray and rainy. So instead, they had their nuptial ceremony in the venue’s beautiful and timelessly elegant Grand Ballroom. That part of Raspberry Plain Manor is spacious enough to easily seat 200 guests. It was also big enough for the couple’s DC wedding photographers to get some really great angles for our pictures. This image is an example of the results of that freedom of movement. As we mentioned above, we had the ability to go around and behind the wedding party. That gave us unique views of the couple at the altar.
The photos we took of the wedding ceremony also look great because the venue has huge Venetian windows. The latter let in plenty of natural light. As long as said light is not too direct or harsh, it is extremely flattering to the bride, groom or anyone else appearing in the wedding pictures.
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