“It’s because of me that Rand and Andrew are getting married today”, Rand’s flower girl said. I laughed and listened as she explained that she had been the first one to Facetime Andrew when Rand was visiting. Oh the age that we live in!
Rand and Andrew’s wedding was immersed in tradition from both of their cultures. Rand’s Palestinian culture was represented even as I arrived at her getting ready location, with her family and friends listening to Arabic music and playing drums. I’m convinced that Rand’s family had been celebrating since their arrival the previous Sunday and there was no sign of letting the celebratory spirit fade!
Rand and Andrew were married at their church Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church with a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony that included the crowning of the bride and groom, the first dance/walk, the common cup. Both Rand and Andrew had tears in their eyes as they met at the aisle where Rand’s father joined Rand and Andrew’s hands. I can’t quite describe with words the level of emotion at this symbolic exchange, but it was beautiful. Some may picture a traditional ceremony as being stiff or cold, but their ceremony was far from it. The rich tradition didn’t dampen the emotion but added to it, as I caught Rand’s bridesmaids and others present to participate in Andrew and Rand’s commitment to love, honor, and serve each other for the rest of their lives.
After the ceremony and family portraits in their beautiful white-walled church, we headed down the street to the Oregon Ridge Nature Center for their couples portraits before heading to the reception. Oregon Ridge was the perfect interlude as I know how much Rand and Andrew love to be outdoors! These two are completely natural with showing their mutual affection and love to each other while having laughing and having fun too!
There is an Arabic tradition called the Zaffah where the bride and groom are welcomed at the reception with celebration and dancing, so as soon as we arrived at the Mansion at Valley Country Club, all of the guests were standing outside, ready to greet the two newly weds! Drums, dancing, love, affection and cultural traditions - these all continued late into the night!
Photography by Baltimore and Annapolis Wedding Photographer Katherine Elizabeth Photography
The Amazing Vendors!
Planning: Denean's Party by Design
Venue: The Mansion at Valley Country Club
2nd Shooter: The Wonderful Erin Duffy
Florist: Ever After Wedding Flowers
Baker/Cake Artist: YiaYais Bakery
DJ: Jason Burns' Elite DJ Network
Hair and Makeup: Coco Leigh Hair Boutique
Transportation: Bayside Limo
Jewelry: Smyth Jewelers
Bridesmaids dresses: LuLu's from Nordstrome