I love celebrating love.
As a Richmond wedding photographer, there is no greater joy for me than getting to participate in one of the happiest days of your life. From prep to send-off, the unique energy of each individual wedding I attend is infectious!
While every wedding is special, Brian & Patrick’s was particularly joyous! While it was incredible to be able to shoot a wedding at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), the truly remarkable part of the day came from the personal touches blended into the celebration.
The traditional Syrian elements paying homage to Patrick’s heritage were so fun and exciting to witness; the entire family was so festive that it was easy to be swept away in the delight of the event. Keep reading to learn more about the happy occasion from the perspective of the grooms!
The Grooms’ Vision for their COVID Wedding
Q: What drew you to choose your venue? Was the location of your wedding what youʼd always dreamed of? What was your favorite part about the space?
A: Because of the pandemic, we wanted to choose venues that were safe for our guests; i.e. outside, or airy places. We love the VMFA, it was one of the places we visited first when we first moved to Richmond and holds many great memories.
We used to sit at ‘Muse restaurant and look down on the sculpture park as we ate. We commented more than a few times how great it would be to hold an event on the stone terrace; so it seemed perfect that we ended up having the ceremony there. This also overlooked the Dale Chihuly reeds, one of our favorite glass artists.
Q: Did you have an initial idea of what you wanted to wear? What about your partner? The bridal party?
A: We wanted garden attire, no ties. That was the only big rule we had. Less formal.
Q: Did your wedding have a particular theme, color scheme, or décor style? How did you choose to decorate your space for the ceremony and reception? Was any part of the wedding DIY?
A: With the short amount of planning that we had (5 weeks,) we didn’t get too creative. We did make the centerpieces for the dinner ourselves. It was a fun couple activity to do together.
Q: What was the floral design like for your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements, like bouquets, centerpieces, or ceremony backdrop/altar?
A: Our flowers were done by a friend. Mother of the groom held a bouquet, and friends of the grooms and family members wore boutonnières.
Q: What was the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?
A: The dinner afterwards, and fire back at the house with friends.
Q: What “traditions” did you choose to keep for your wedding day? What traditions did you choose to not follow- and what (if anything) did you do in place?
A: We aren’t very traditional as a couple, but we did end with a traditional Syrian wedding song at the Ceremony. We also had a Pittsburgh, “Cookie Table,” at the reception which people seemed to enjoy.
The Big Celebration
Q: Tell me about the reception. What kinds of personal touches did you choose to include?
A: Our reception was just a dinner at Brambly Park Winery in Scott’s Addition. Because of the short amount of time for planning, and COVID 19 regulations, we were left with only a few choices. Brambly was able to accommodate our party. We did a traditional Syrian toast of “Arak.”
Q: Music can play a valuable role in planning your wedding day. What songs did you choose and why did you choose them?
A: Processional song: Above and Beyond – Good for Me
Reflections After The Wedding
Q: What’s one word you would use to describe your wedding day?
Q: Is there anything else about your day that you want to tell me? Something special that stood out?
A: The VMFA had only just started hosting weddings. We were only the 2nd couple to be married there. They really rolled out the red carpet for us. At first, we were reluctant to spend the money on the Terrace because it was only for an hour. But looking back, we are glad that we did.
Q: Tell me about life post-wedding? What is your best advice for newlyweds AFTER the wedding?
A: Take some time for yourselves. After the guests are gone, and the family has all gone home; make sure to do something just the two of you. After all, it’s all about you.
Q: When you look back at your day, what are the moments that truly stand out in your memory?
A: Everyone returning back to our house for a fire, and outside movie. We watched Practical Magic with a projector while everyone cuddled up with blankets, and drinks. It was the highlight of our entire day. It was perfectly – us.
Q: Do you have any advice for couples planning their big day?
A: Less is more. We kept our wedding day very simple, and we’re so glad that we did. Looking back it’s more about the people that attended, than flowers, food, or music.
Keep scrolling to see some of my other favorite shots from their day!
Photographer – Emily from EmmiClaire Photography
Venue – The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
Suits – Calvin KleinCake – Cupcakes from Carytown Cupcakes