shooting a wedding in my hometown is always a delight – to be around people who have known me since long before i ever picked up a camera is just plain fun (they’ve had my camera in their faces for years… way before i ever thought of starting a business). but it’s particularly special for me to be chosen to photograph the wedding of two people i myself have known since they were young’uns, and to see them coming together now in their adulthood in love and faith. skipping any mention of how old this might make me feel… i’ll just say that it felt like a blessing to celebrate omar and ola’s marriage with them and their families, and i pray that blessing continues for them as they start their new life together.
i’ve been waiting to share some of my favorite images from this remarkable walima that i also shot last fall at the merion in new jersey, with the help of soon-to-be california photographer vida carson. it was certainly a first for me to photograph the bride and groom entering the wedding hall itself by classic car! but that was just one part of this incredibly beautiful and fun evening – from the classy black, pink and purple decor – check out that towering masjid cake, too! – to the “dessert room”, the fiery backdrop for the couple’s portraits, and the boundlessly energetic dance floor, this was one i’ll always remember, not only for all that but also for sincere, good-hearted nature of ahmed, zara and their families, and the love and joy their family and friends showed in celebrating their wedding.
farida and fahad’s wedding capped a beautiful weekend of celebration, filled with love and laughter. after the bride and groom got all dolled up, we took some portraits at buddy attick park in greenbelt, where we had already taken some engagement portraits just a few weeks earlier. during the wedding celebration, farida and fahad’s families participated in some traditional bangladeshi rituals, such as the gate (in which the bride’s family prevents the groom’s side from entering the wedding hall until he pays up), as well as rituals surrounding the nikah (vows ceremony) on stage itself – exchanging flower garlands along with rings, viewing each other’s faces in a mirror side-by-side, and feeding each other sweets. following the “bidaai” or farewell of the bride to her family, farida and fahad released a handful of white balloons to celebrate their union, before driving away together as husband and wife. i feel truly blessed to have been a part of this lovely couple’s wedding, but even more so to be able to call them my friends now. thank you so much, farida and fahad, for trusting me with the honor of capturing your wedding day! may you always be blessed :)
many thanks to shelly han of camera karma photography for helping me out at this wedding!!